The 1975 – Head.Cars.Bending

For the life of me I can’t figure out why these guys would go with The 1975 for the name of their band.

I’m not a music historian by any means, but I can’t think of one antecedent from that year or any other in the decade it’s smack dab in the middle of that this act harkens back to. No, these guys are thoroughly modern in sound and sensibility. Like so many young men from this generation – my generation, and probably your generation as well = they’re equally obsessed with matters of the body, the mind, and the heart. The former is represented by their sonics and their catalog of releases. (I found over the course my of research I was doing to prep for this writeup that the first two releases from the band were the Facedown EP and Sex EP. They don’t mince their words.) The latter is evidenced in their words and vocals.

Let me break it down. An almost too pretty organ sounding line opens the thing up before it reveals itself to be a tone prone to manipulation. The programmed dum beats tread in lightly, clapping and tapping in more as a textrual element of the sound than as any kind of guiding rhythmic element. Then the primary motive, a distorted synth line, rolls in. The contour of the track is gently parabolic. Gentle curves up and down suggest movement while the sounds and instruments impart some physicality. These guys are having fun with their compositions too. The bass tones are positively buoyant and the group have a tendency for deployin unorthodox samples. The sounds of breaking glass, bubbles busting,

And the vocals! Singer Matthew Healy cribs from M83’s playbook in the choruses, really straining for those emotional highs. But he’s smart enough to use this sparingly, utilizing a more conversational style and letting the charm of his English-accented intonations do a lot of the heavy lifting in the verses.

Can we hold on?
Can we stay till the end?
Write another song about your friends.”

The whole thing is wonderfully atmospheric and it has the potential to soundtrack nearly any mood or scenario. Perfect for post-young adulthood.

The 1975 – Head.Cars.Bending