How did we ever get here?
If you’d told us back in the hazy days before their debut album that we’d be considering if the 1975 might possibly be the most important mainstream band of their generation, we’d have called you a doctor. Fast. And yet, two records - at least one of which already feels like a defining cultural landmark - later, and we’d be ringing for professional help if the notion was dismissed out of hand.
Music may not be a competition, but this isn’t simply about music anymore. The 1975 have elevated themselves beyond that. They’ve got all the markers the great acts thrive upon, from a fevered fanbase always rabid for the smallest scrap of new information, to a monopoly on the hype machine. One broadcast from the band’s online mothership is enough to send social networks into meltdown, operating on a level that feels both part of - and yet at the same point several steps ahead of - popular culture.
Wearing their flaws as badges of honour, ‘Love It If We Made It’ isn’t the turbo-banger designed to send the band’s forthcoming third album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ into orbit. Rather, it’s the perfect scene setter on a world that continues to shift through pearlescent neon hues.
Matty Healy’s vocal runs like a higher stream of consciousness, plugged directly into the feeds. In an era of oversharing, the references to Trump, Kanye and Lil Peep head from the sublime to the depressing, and occasionally the ridiculous. ‘Modernity has failed us’, Matty offers in an almost throwaway aside, before launching into the juxtaposition of the track’s title refrain. Saying everything and yet nothing at all, it’s the perfect example of why the 1975 are perhaps the most relatable band on the planet.
It’s not just the frontman that’s the star, though. George Daniel’s production steps to the fore, confident enough to try new ideas while threading them with that firmly established trademark sound. ‘Love It If We Made It’ sits a world apart from the scrappy ‘zinecore futurepunk of ‘A Brief Inquiry…’’s first taster ‘Give Yourself A Try’, and yet it’s undeniably the same band. Neither feels predictable. Both make perfect sense.
Our digital world condensed into an act of messy, fevered worship, ‘Love It If We Made It’ thrives on the euphoria of an online crowd constantly chasing the next hit. A mirror to the modern condition, there’s more to the 1975 than just another indie pop band. The hall of fame awaits.