The Mancunion

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Album: The 1975 – Music for Cars EP

The final instalment in the hotly-tipped band’s trilogy of EPs continues to deliver on their early promise

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Released: 4th March 2013

Dirty Hit

8/10

The 1975 are a local quartet who have recently been gathering rather a lot of steam. Their first two offerings, ‘Facedown’ and the subtly titled ‘Sex’, were critically acclaimed, and set them up for propulsion into the mainstream. Their current hit ‘Chocolate’ has only furthered their progression, with dates at The Ritz and Shepherd’s Bush Empire later in the year already sold out.

First things first, the title is misleading. This should not be chosen as the soundtrack to your first road trip, unless you want it to be outrageously melancholy. The only thing I can attribute the choice of title to is the fact that motoring is mentioned in two of the tracks.

If you were expecting the tone to have been set by ‘Chocolate’, you were wrong. The opening track ‘Anobrain’ is packed full of opulent synths and distorted harmonies. Give it time though, because once the confusion has worn off, the song is emotionally very powerful. It builds to its key moment superbly, as singer Matt Healy pleads “I think I love you”. Although short, at just shy of two minutes in length, the track is a magnificent opener, and gives a taste of what’s to come; a sonically diverse piece of work.

‘Chocolate’, currently enjoying widespread radio play, follows; dominated by a  melodic guitar riff. This is the only track that seems to justify the EP’s title and boasts the strongest guitar beat in a significant amount of time. It is a gorgeous song and remains the standout track here.

‘HNSCC’ is next and is musically just as confusing as it’s title. There are no lyrics to comment on here, but the soaring ambience of the short track really helps to piece the EP together nicely.

‘Heads.Cars.Bending’ is the only track besides ‘Chocolate’ with a traditional chorus. The electro pop beat is lined with James Blake-esque claps, and the chorus is yelped melodically by Healy. Although we are left completely in the dark as to what the title means, the urgency of his voice makes this track very powerful, and the refrain becomes addictive after a few spins.

The EP concludes with the densely emotive ‘Me’. Brassy, soft synths kick it off until a gentle drum beat comes in, adding a rhythmic layer to the track. The track contains the most touching lyrics in the album, with Healy declaring ‘I was thinking about killing myself’. The song’s context is given by a constant plea to an absent lover, with the phrase “Don’t you mind?” added to the end of most lines. Healy’s despair is cemented with the affecting “ I love you… don’t you mind , don’t you mind”.

Although this EP is a brash departure from their previous material, it is a stunning piece of work. It could very easily be dismissed as an indulgent ‘hipster’ experiment, but it is packed with emotion and ensures that The 1975 are not keeping themselves in a box, music wise – it bodes well for their forthcoming full-length debut.