The 1975’s new album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’: Release date, tour dates and everything we know so far

They're not done yet

If you thought the 1975-fest was over, you’ve got another thing coming. Arguably the biggest band in the world right now, Matty Healy and co. are preparing another full-length for release in early 2020.

Titled ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, it’s set to follow last year’s ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ in forming the ‘Music For Cars’ “era”. Still with us? Alright, let us break it down.

Latest updates:

  • Matty Healy gives an update on album progress in new interview
  • Tour news is expected on September 13 along with details of the new album
  • ‘Notes’ is now available to pre-order across streaming platforms
  • The band’s single ‘People’ premiered in August and was given its live debut at Reading Festival 2019.
  • Environmental activist Greta Thunberg teams up with the band for new track ‘The 1975’
  • Band confirm album release date will be February 21, 2020

Is there a release date for The 1975’s new album?

The band recently confirmed that their fourth record will be out on February 21, 2020.

Does the album have a title?

The title of the band’s 2020 studio effort is ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. It follows last year’s ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, which together are part of the ‘Music For Cars’ era of the band – one which comprises two records.

Have we seen any artwork?

Yes! On July 23, the band released the below artwork — which signalled new song ‘People’ with the words “Wake Up!”. The words ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ in different languages are plastered beneath.

Do we know what songs could feature on the tracklist?

A full tracklist has not yet been revealed, though a pre-order page for ‘Notes…’ lists a total of 22 tracks, including ‘The 1975’ and ‘People’. Healy has also dropped a number of titles during recent interviews.

So far we know of the following five tracks:

  • ‘The Birthday Party’
  • ‘Playing On My Mind’
  • ‘Frail State Of Mind’
  • ‘The 1975’
  • ‘People’

How is it linked to ‘A Brief Inquiry…’?

This is where it gets slightly confusing. Despite touting both albums as the ‘Music For Cars’ era, Healy previously expressed his worry that they would be considered ‘intrinsically linked’, before assuring that wasn’t the case.

“My only fear is that because I’ve put this umbrella over both albums, they’ll be perceived as intrinsically connected,” he said in a Dazed interview, adding, “But that was never my intention; I’m just making records. I’ve gotta always want to be making my masterpiece. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

In addition, Healy told NME: “I’ve realised it’s never going to be a continuation or an association with ‘A Brief Inquiry’. It’s a completely different record. Six months now is the same as what three years was before. Think about the amount of shit that happens in six months’ time. It will be a different thing and a different time.”

In a recent interview with Coup De Grace (October 10), Healy elaborated further: “I feel like people have been thinking or talking about this process of us making it in a very different way to have we have been actually making it. I’m always going to put out what I think is my best record, but people when they talk about it, I suppose they see it as this big deal – this ‘follow up’ to ‘A Brief Inquiry’. Honestly, whether it’s due to time, or just even minutes to get retrospect, we haven’t thought about that shit at all.”

Have we heard any songs from The 1975’s new album?

We’ve heard the first taste of the new record after the band announced they’ve teamed up with environmental activist Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swede whose direct action, inspirational speeches and one-person protest inspired a global youth movement and, arguably, helped mobilise Extinction Rebellion on the track ‘The 1975’.

The 1975

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For this brand new version of the track, Matty Healy and George Daniel travelled to Sweden to meet with Thunberg in person, recording this brand new, emotive speech that not just shows why she’s become the world’s leading voice on climate change, but challenges listeners to rebel against the establishment.

NME described it as “a bold, brave move, and one that might be accused of being cynical had The 1975 not got such form in putting world events into music faster than their peers”.

The second offering from ‘Notes…’ came in the form of ‘People’, a punk-inspired thrasher exploring a much heavier side to the band. “Well my generation wanna fuck Barack Obama, living in a sauna, with my legal marijuana,” screams Matty Healy in the first verse.

In a review of the track, NME said: “‘People’ is the band’s heaviest and most confrontational moment yet. On it, the band finally embrace their love of cult US hardcore bands, for a thundering punk-rock slapper, that whiffs of the same strain as desert-dudes Queens of The Stone Age, via the pop sensibilities of Elastica. It’s electrifying stuff.”

Check out the official video, along with the vertical version, below:

What will The 1975’s new album sound like?

The band’s third record has long been referred to as ‘Music For Cars’, which was set to be the final instalment in a trilogy of albums – though Healy later revealed that this plan has been scrapped. “I was really lying to myself that the 1975 wasn’t my primary drive,” he offered by way of explanation in an interview with The Guardian.

“Our first three albums are the story of a person; it’s always kind of been my story. It spanned adolescence to maturity, success and trying to mediate the two, and the third one is where we are now,” Healy told NME. “I haven’t really decided the statement of where we are now yet. It’s sort of difficult to understand the present,” he added.  Instead, the ‘Music For Cars’ name became attributed to an ‘era’ of the band, comprised of two albums – November 2018’s ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, and the upcoming ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’.

Speaking on Twitter, Healy compared ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ to the band’s very first EPs. “Our colllection [sic] of EPs, and the time in which they came out etc, feels very particular to me now,” he wrote. “Maybe that’s due to retrospect, who knows. But Notes On A Conditional Form feels like that time. It feels like those records”

Matty Healy The 1975

The 1975 perform live at Reading Festival 2019. Credit: Jenn Five/NME

In an interview with DazedHealy revealed that a track called ‘Frail State of Mind’, which will feature on the band’s 2019 record, is an exploration of social anxiety set against a UK garage backdrop. The song, he said, is a “UK garage, sad, Burial kind of thing about social anxiety, you know, going out. I’m better at it happening, (at) me and you sitting down and having a conversation, than thinking about going to do the conversation. The social event’s normally always fine, but the build up to it, I hate it.”

The frontman added that “one of my best lyrics ever” exists on the 2019 record.

As for the overall vibe of the project, manager Jamie Oborne tweeted that Healy had been referring to it as “a nighttime record”.

In conversation with NME, Healy added: “It’s very homely. It’s a lot about home, it’s a lot about mental health, it’s a lot about domesticity. We created ‘A Brief Inquiry’ in the domestic environment that this next record is about. There isn’t a ‘Love It If We Made It’ yet. There isn’t anything like that.”

“When I was making the last record that wasn’t trying to make a particular thing,” Healy told NME, speaking of the pressure he feels to make another acclaimed album. “Of course, at times, I wanted to make [My Bloody Valentine’s]’ ‘Loveless’ of course, or at times I wanted to make ‘OK Computer’ – there were all these types of things. [Coltrane’s] ‘Blue Train’.

“On this record you can hear that at times I want to make my ‘Nebraska’ [Bruce Springsteen’s sparsest album] or I want to make my ‘Immunity’ by Jon Hopkins. I’d like it to be a moment-in-time record like a ‘Nebraska’.”

Healy also teased that the record will head in an emo-driven direction.

“It’s not like where emo ended up sounding like a My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy sounding record. There’s definite references to Joan Of Arc and Braid and Mineral… you hear a lot of that on No Rome’s new EP – it’s kind of like an emo record,” he said.

“I played drums on that and we were making that the same time we started ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’ so it does have this kind of like, Midwest kind of sound to it.”

Dirty Hit boss Jamie Oborne revealed more about the album in a lengthy interview, describing the sound as “extraordinary.” He added: “I was listening to the demos and it’s amazing.”

He continued: “It feels like it will be a long record. Will it be a double album? I don’t know…it’s definitely going to be a long album but I can’t possibly commit to whether it will be a double album or not. That’s a decision that happens when everything is almost completed.

“It’s about achieving a critical mass of exposure through releasing music, videos or photographs, which is basically doing the same again, but at a greater scale because we’re naturally achieving a greater scale.” You can read more about his update here. 

In an interview with Coup De Main magazine (October 10), Healy revealed that the band are still hard at work on recording the album and that they are going back into the studio in October.

“We’re going back into the studio at the beginning of October until we go back on the road in the middle of November, so that kind of four-and-a-half week period is when the record’s going to be done, or the second 50% will be sorted. I think there’s 21 or 22 songs and they’re all there and they all exist in varying degrees. Some of them are like ‘People’ which is already out, and some of them are still instrumental vibes at the moment, but we’re making it and it’s all good and it will be fine.”

However, Healy also said that he wouldn’t put out an album he wasn’t “in love with”. He added: “I’ve been making the record for a year and it doesn’t come out until February, so I’ve had until February to work on it, it wouldn’t even be a worry at all, it’s just that to make vinyl it takes you three months, so you need to deliver your record three months before it comes out if you want any chance of vinyl. And for me, I’m not going to put out a record that I’m not in love with; it’s just not going to happen.”

“So if worse comes to worse, I wouldn’t put it out. I’d never put something out that was compromised. But it’s important for it to be the right kind of expression, so I’ve just got to get it done before December. I might still be working on drips and drabs of stuff, but I doubt it.”

Do The 1975 have upcoming tour dates?

Yes! They’ll hit the road for a massive arena tour next year. Check those dates below.

February 2020

15 – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
16 – Utilita Arena, Newcastle
17 – First Direct Arena, Leeds
19 – Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
21 – The O2 Arena, London
23 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
25 – Birmingham Arena, Birmingham
26 – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
28 – Manchester Arena, Manchester
29 – P&J Live Arena, Aberdeen

March 2020

1 – SSE Hydro, Glasgow
3 – 3Arena, Dublin

The band toured South America in the spring, ahead of a North American stint in the early summer. In August, they topped the bill at Reading & Leeds festivals with a set described by NME as “a politically-charged and empowering triumph for Britain’s biggest band”.