“1st June – The 1975”. Anyone who follows Manchester pop outfit The 1975 will know the significance of this line. Found scrawled in a beat poetry book by frontman Matty Healy, it informed the band’s name and was teased as being the launch date for the hotly anticipated third album, now titled ‘A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships’.
Alas, the album is not quite here yet, but the band have just shared the first track from the record, ‘Give Yourself A Try’. Considering they’ve been talking about it for so long, it was virtually impossible not to get hopes up. When we spoke to the band at the end of 2016, Matty said the album will sound “even more ridiculous [than the last one], I’d imagine. It’s almost starting to sound like a deconstructed version of The 1975, like if The 1975 were falling apart a bit.” But ‘Give Yourself A Try’, the first taster of new music in over two years, doesn’t quite sound like the band withering away so much as firming up their roots.
This is not quite the grandiose statement of intent for the future sound of pop in the way that ‘Love Me’ was the harbinger of the groundbreaking ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’, but a well-earned gift for their ardent fans and a peek into where the band are at right now. And it turns out, they’re dipping their toes back in the hybrid of Britpop, synthpop and boyband pop that informed their debut album. With a swirling guitar riff that wouldn’t sound out of place on The Strokes’ ‘Room On Fire’, it’s a remarkably lo-fi return from a band who rarely do things by half-measures.
But perhaps that says more about us than what we can expect from their third album. By no means is this a step backwards, but ‘Give Yourself A Try’ feels like a teaser for a far greater trick yet to come.
Ultimately though, The 1975 have nothing to prove right now. Their last album and the mammoth, world-beating tour smashed expectations and probably cemented them as indie’s most influential band since Arctic Monkeys broke the wheel over a decade a go. So what comes next? Redefining pop music once again? Boy, we fully believe that can do it. Don’t take this track as being the defining sound of the album – The 1975 rarely sit still.