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December 2018 / January 2019


From here, The 1975 could go anywhere.
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Published: 9:49 pm, August 15, 2018Words: Stephen Ackroyd.

If there’s one thing that The 1975 love to do, it’s to keep us all on our toes - and not just with cryptic posters and surprise deliveries. Previously, their shifts in direction have all been lit in the same pink-purple neon hues. From the experimental to the all-out-banger, there’s been a musical thread that made perfect sense.

‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, at first listen, isn’t just different - it’s worlds apart. Locked in the dancehall, it’s a distillation of everything modern pop represents in 2018. It’s got the electronic haze of high quality late 90s euro-dance pop and the beat of OMI’s huge summer hit ’Cheerleader’. Comparisons to Drake will be almost impossible to avoid. Constantly moving, every instinct suggests it’s the polar opposite of what most would expect from a track Matty Healy had previously sold as possibly becoming the band’s biggest hit to date.

And yet, in the end, that desire to cut across their own firmly inked lines is what makes ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ make sense. Like an elastic band, it twangs back on repeat again and again. As those plays stack up, the threads begin to form. In its own way, it’s every bit the magpie that ‘Love Me’ proved as it echoed in ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ - just with its focus aimed at a different plane. Where previously it was the attitude and personality of Planet Pop that the band plundered, here they’re picking from a sonic buffet cart unbound by narrow definitions and suffocating lanes.

That trademark 1975 shimmer still sits underneath, pinning the track to their all encompassing canvas. In sequence, the urgency of ‘Love It If We Made It’ still slots into place alongside, an unholy union of the deliberately breezy and dangerously deep. The band’s wider world even lends a hand, the influence of Matty and George’s collaborations with label mate and current muse No Rome starting to push themselves forward.

Whether ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ is a defining shift or a sun soaked moment in The 1975’s continuing evolution remains to be seen. In many ways, that’s not the point. With two full-albums worth of music to come over the next year or so, it’s proof that, in the ‘Music For Cars’ era, they’re a band willing to follow all creative paths. Everything we thought we knew is gone. From here, The 1975 could go anywhere.

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