If The 1975’s recent output has given us any hints about their upcoming album ‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships‘ – it’s that they’re taking stock of everything and everyone. ‘Give Yourself A Try’, the first single, was a squealing indie anthem, where frontman Matty Healy unravels all those anxious, confused thoughts that haunt your mid-to-late twenties.
The pulsating new single, ‘Love It If We Made It’, instead, looks outward at society and it’s endless fuckery. A couple weeks back, we received a 1975 care package here at NME Towers that announced the single and featured its accompanying lyrics – so we’ve had a bit of time to pore over each and every line. Lead by Healy’s tortured wailing, the lyrics are stuffed with pop culture references, political snipes and the odd sociological theory.
With the song now out, here’s a quick unpacking of the song’s most memorable lines.
“Fuck your feelings! Truth is only hear say!”
Let’s start with an easy one, eh. People lie all the fucking time for their own personal or political gain. President Trump spouts the term ‘Fake News’ whenever he’s not on top, while media conglomerates like Facebook stand accused of allowing mistruths and false information to influence elections around the globe.
“Write it on a piece of stone/A beach of drowning 3-year-olds”
The second part of this lyric is likely a reference to the death of 3-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi. In September 2015, his body washed up on the shore of Turkey after the Kurdi family boarded a rubber boat heading for Greek island Kos, which eventually sank. The picture of Kurdi’s lifeless body was circulated to the international media, and considered one of the most shocking moments of the European refugee crisis that still rumbles on today.
“Rest in peace Lil Peep”
On November 15, 2017 rapper and singer Lil Peep died of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers fentanyl and alprazolam. His death drew tributes from artists like Diplo and Post Malone, and drew mainstream attention to the opioid crisis in the US.
“The poetry is in the streets”
Here’s a nicer one, then. The 1975 have spent their own career proudly declaring their influences, creating myths and building narratives around their music. Their band name comes from an inscription found in a Jack Kerouac poetry book and they prophesied their third album release date (June 1 – missed it) and name (‘Music For Cars’ – changed it) years in advance.
The line “poetry is in the streets” is etched into 1975 lore as one of the bands’ unofficial mottos and has reared its head several times in their career. It first made an appearance in the video for early single ‘Chocolate’, as well as ‘The City’, ‘Robbers’ and ‘A Change Of Heart’, but pops up for the first time as a lyric here.
“Immigration liberal kitsch/kneeling on a pitch”
As Matty hits back at the right-wing response to the immigration debate that is blighting political discourse in the UK, US and across the globe – he also makes reference to the ongoing kneeling protests in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick wasn’t the first to protest, but certainly the most influential. During a preseason game in 2016, he took a knee during the US national anthem in protest to police brutality and racial inequality in the country. His example lead several other players to begin using the opportunity to protest throughout the 2016 season and beyond. Critics said that the protests were unpatriotic and disrespected the American flag, whereas those players responded by saying they were merely exercising their right to their freedom of speech. In September 2017, over 200 players protested after President Trump suggested that players should be fined or sacked for joining in.
As a result, Kaepernick was essentially blacklisted by the league following his protests and has not played a game in the NFL since his contract with the 49ers expired in 2017.
“I moved on her like a bitch!”
In the final verse, Matty quotes directly from President Trump and a recording made of him in 2005 with TV personality Billy Bush. Bragging about his sexual prowess with women, Trump said that he “moved on her like a bitch”, and later went onto say that his star power allowed him to “grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”
“Thank you Kanye, very cool!”
His second direct quote is in reference to endorsements from Kanye West on Twitter. In April 2018, Kanye called Trump his “brother” and said that they both had “dragon energy”. Trump would later retweet the message with the message, “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”.
In November 2016, Kanye declared himself a fan of Trump and was pictures with the President-elect in Trump Towers. He faced widespread criticism from the hip-hop world, but repeated his support in April 2018 when he returned to Twitter following a lengthy absence.