Most bands don't get to experience those truly special moments. We're not talking about lauded album tracks or b-sides that hold an intimate allure. We're referring to those unifying jolts. Musical lighting rods, pulling down raw, crackling energy from the heavens. Tracks that aren't simply ear-worms or catchy radio-fodder, but ones that refuse to be ignored, bristling with a magical shimmer.
What's remarkable about The 1975's new single, is that it's been one of those songs for more than two months now, despite the fact it's only arriving in its full, recorded form today.
If we're putting cards on the table, 'If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know)' might well be the biggest bop of 2020. Yes, it's only April, but come on. Be realistic. Ever since it debuted on the first night on their UK tour back in mid-February, it's set imagination ablaze. 'Drop 'Too Shy'', goes the first reply to every social media missive from anyone remotely connected to the band, like it's been humanity's most urgent endeavour.
And it almost certainly has.
As any scholar will tell you, a band's fanbase isn't some uniform organism. It's full of cliques and warring factions, absolutely convinced that their preferred version or era is the best. Within the deepest, darkest corners of The 1975's ecosystem - where b-sides can provoke impassioned debate, and any hint of resurfaced old material inspires widespread mayhem - 'Too Shy' is transcendent. Original stans and new obsessives stand together in agreement; this is the one to rule them all.
From the prolonged intro - the sound of deep rolling mists and angelic choruses (top fact, apparently that's only bloody FKA Twigs) - 'Too Shy' exists on a higher plane. A guitar line pierces through - a siren call from afar. For a brief moment the anticipation is almost palpable. And then, in the best possible way, the spell breaks and the party begins.
Pulsing with neon strobes, this is The 1975 in their most concentrated form. While over their previous two albums they've forced us to reconsider just what they're capable of time and time again, this time they're here to remind us exactly what they do best of all. Channeling their greatest victories, it's got the effortless penetration of those early singles matched with the pop-science of 'i like it when you sleep...''s most day-glo strides. A swaggering, hip shaking monster, it's a greatest hits delivered in just over 5 minutes - quite literally a brief inquiry into online relationships communicated through the medium of dance. Dance and saxophone.
That it arrives at what could well be a generation's darkest point seems oddly fitting. Confined to our own homes, looking for inspiration to drag ourselves out of the gutter - 'Too Shy' feels like a shared point in time. An echo of a better world, and a promise we'll find ourselves back there once again. Divided but together, it could come from no other band. Lockdown be damned, we'll see you online.