The 1975: A 21st Century Band with a 20th Century Feel

Almost a year ago, while sitting in my high school tech class, my friend had her Spotify open on her phone. I’ll admit, I peeked a little to see what she was listening to (I’m a sucker for new music I’ve never heard before). On the screen was a song called “Robbers” by a band called The 1975. Here’s the song:

For a second, I was curious, but chose to evade this new sound. However, it was only a matter of time until I came around; over the summer of 2015, I really started to listen to them. And boy, I have not one ounce of regret.

Hailing from Manchester, England, The 1975 formed when the ever-eccentric Matthew Healy, who’s the lead singer, met fellow band mates Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann, and George Daniel in high school and began to play music together. They began like any beginning band would by covering punk songs at local clubs. They went through many different names to call their band until they finally compromised on the Healy’s inspiration after finding scribblings on the back of an old beat poetry book by Jack Kerouac dated “1 June, The 1975.” Thus, the band was officially named and formed.

They finally reached mainstream success after releasing their debut self-titled album, reaching number one on the UK charts. “Sex”, “Girls”, and “Robbers” were three of the main singles that took control of the charts at the time of the album’s release. Soon after, their popularity swept across the internet, specifically blogging sites like Tumblr. People connected with the lyrics and the messages sent through each song. But why is this the case?

Healy, the main songwriter for the band, sometimes creates massive questioning to what his songs are about. I’ve had times where I have to listen to the song more than twice to really analyze the lyrics. What does he mean? What message is he trying to convey? He reads on a consistent basis, whether it be poetry or various books, whenever he’s on the road touring. This has helped influence his intelligence, his use of vocabulary, and the way he formats his sentences. Plus, the fact that the British population uses much more formal language than a small population of Americans only makes his lyrical style more sophisticated. Modern, mainstream musicians’ lyrics are easy to read and need no deep analysis. Healy puts this stereotype to rest by writing lyrics with deep-rooted, advanced meanings in the “dumbed-down” world of music that we live in today.

The reason why this band has a 20th century feel is not only because of their songwriting ability, but it’s also due to their sound. It’s no bubblegum pop that you’ll see topping the iTunes charts or an artist that takes home 7 Grammy’s (see how much music has changed over the years?). Their sound is that of an actual band, that writes their own music and plays instruments. Much like The Talking Heads, who is one of their main influences. Don’t believe me? Listen to this song, and you’ll hear them:


I strongly advise people to lend their ears to this band. In fact, you can check out their new album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware, here.

Songs you should hear: “Chocolate”, “Girls”, “Robbers”, “Love Me”, “The Sound”, “Somebody Else”


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