We don’t know Matty Healy personally, but judging by this new single, we’re pretty confident that at one point in his life, bands like Marilyn Manson and Mindless Self Indulgence could have been found on his iPod.
(Yes — his iPod, he was a teenager in the early aughts, after all.)
The newest single from The 1975, “People,” is not what you’d expect from them. And not in the eye-roll inducing music journalist way that things are “unexpected,” but legitimately — it’s unexpected. With heavy punk and industrial rock vibes, this is not the synth-pop we’ve come to expect from The 1975.
Opening with an abrasive “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” Healy isn’t bothering with any of his typical crooning or mumbling; instead, he’s taking on screaming that’s more at home on a SWMRS track, right down to the political message.
Yes, instead of his typical introspective crying, Healy is now looking outward and he’s mad. If A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships had Healy making peace with himself and giving himself “a try,” then it’s starting to look like Notes on a Conditional Form is the album where Healy looks up and around — and if “People” is any indication, he’s really mad.
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It’s not like his anger is misplaced or even unusual; the zeitgeist for rock bands these days seems to be punk-flavored righteous indignation and it’s a pleasant surprise that The 1975 can pull it off so well. Though they have always cited punk and punk rock as influences, their musical history has never gone much harder than Fall Out Boy, so this track’s definitely impressive and honestly kind of brave for such a famous pop act to try.
Undoubtedly, there’ll be other pop acts that will see this success and try to follow in their footsteps (and fail), but until that happens, we can be pleased with how well this turned out.
Generally speaking, bands putting out so much music so quickly isn’t a good sign — after all, the saying is “quality over quantity” (and we’re kind of reminded of My Chemical Romance and their Conventional Weapons moment). But The 1975 seem to be burning off a lot of creative energy and thankfully it’s all pretty interesting.
“People” will certainly not see the same commercial success as songs like “Chocolate” or “The Sound,” but it’s a smart single that will prevent them from being pigeonholed as “that pretentious pop band” forevermore. Overall, this new aggressive sound’s something that we’d like to see more of from The 1975 and we hope that Notes on a Conditional Form is an album full of songs like “People.”
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