Though relatively young, The 1975 have been making music together for the last decade, since they were teenagers. Interestingly enough, it’s this phase of life that inspired the Manchester pop-rockers’ self-titled debut, set for a Sept. 10 release on Interscope.
The band says their new album is “the sum of our adolescence, of our formative years.” Moreover, they describe the album as sounding “very ’80s,” saying it would work well in one John Hughes’ iconic teen flicks.
“We’re massive fans of John Hughes,” frontman Matt Healy recently told Radio.com. “We wanted to make a record [that] was almost a soundtrack to our teenage years. If he made a movie about us, this would be the soundtrack.”
While it’s hard to place the band’s blend of ’80s pop, rock, R&B and electronica into one genre, they don’t seem to mind.
“There’s a big musical stylistic polarity in our material,” Healy said. “It’s just a reflection of who we are as people. We know exactly who we want to be and what we want to do. There’s a lot of R&B, there’s a lot of Michael Jackson. We were brought up on black American music.”
Drummer George Daniel explained that the band embodies hip-hop oriented tempos and shuffle rhythms and have often been categorized as art pop, which Healy thinks works as a descriptor. “Art pop. I like that, that’ll do,” he said. “There’s a lot of groove.”
The 1975’s current single, “Chocolate” — which is featured on the band’s EP, IV, and will be on their debut — showcases the band’s pop side best with a dance floor beat and Healy’s catchy vocals. Music fans seem to like it, too, seeing as it’s currently No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart.
“That song is so specific,” Healy said. “It’s about me and [drummer George Daniel] and our mates in our town. It’s kind of like an ode to the relationships between authority figures in our town. There’s a lot of boredom and knocking about and getting wrecked in cars.”
Healy said all the songs on the LP embody a narrative of love, fear, sex, drugs and intoxication including “The City,” which is “a love letter to that stage of self-exploration when you’re a teenager.”
Healy admits there’s a lot of self-deprecation and honesty in his lyrics and thinks that is one of the reasons why people seem to gravitate to the band.
“If you’re totally honest and really, really yourself,” Healy explained, “then that is more relatable than any kind of contrived, projected image.”