Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The 1975 "The 1975"

If you have not heard of The 1975 yet, then you probably will as these four lads from England are making it big in the alternative music scene with their self titled album. Having formed around 10 years ago, going through a line-up change, releasing material under the names of Talkhouse, The Slowdown, Bigsleep and Drive Like I Do, the band made their first bigger entrance to broader audience in 2012 when they received first national air-play in BBC Radio 1 with their song The City. Following that song was The Sex which also received air play by the same radio and in 2013 the band achieved success in mainstream radio charts with their single Chocolate and another version of The Sex from the EP Music for Cars. During the time Chocolate was in the UK charts for 17 weeks, the band was already touring around the UK and Ireland and also touring the US in spring of 2013. Members Matt Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel and Ross MacDonald have since then experienced an immense rise in their popularity as they have supported Rolling Stones, performed at Coachella and Glastonbury festival and other numerous festivals. Even though they are mostly considered as an alternative rock band, the band members have described their music as a mix of rock, pop with a hint of electronic music as well as r&b sounds.
Their first album, The 1975 was released on 2 September 2013 and topped the UK album chart. Leaving the electronic intro aside, the album starts off with promising strong drum beats as The City captures the listener right away with the singer´s distinctive, as in a bit whiny voice which might not like to everyone and Mancunian accent which at times is hard to understand. However, the beat of the song and melody gives the song a nice feel . Having a nice vibe is the keyword for many of the songs in the album. 
Probably their most known song Chocolate has a catchy radio tune written all over it as it is written in a major scale, has a melodic guitar melody and has a summery feel to it with an added choir effect towards the end. I would imagine this would be on playlist when going on a road-trip in the summer with car windows rolled down.

 Another distinctive song is without a doubt their early single The Sex which begins with an effective guitar intro and then the song builds itself up to a powerful feeling bridge. This upbeat song reminds me a typical alternative rock band song with the singer´s singing manner, drum beats and guitar riffs with a bit of a Kings Of Leon vibe. What might suprise the listener is that the lyrics are at times sharp and blunt but that is what makes it real for the listener. As the members have said this album is the soundtrack of their teenage years. Besides catchy songs Heart Out, Settle Down and Girls there are also slower songs. The rhythm is at first hard to grasp in the song Talk which starts with an odd combination of rhythm and melody. Same is She Way Out which also combines guitar-riffs with the bass melodies,the drum and might be unusual to hear when listening the first time. These songs with odd rhythm combinations are not usually my cup of tea as I find them hard to listen to. 
A song which is different from other tracks on the album is M.O.N.E.Y. which does not have a lot of variety in melody but instead repeats one beat and bass throughout the song. Somewhere between those beats come some electronic elements as well as a bit of autotune. Sound effects are also audible in Pressure where the singer´s voice has been given an echo effect. Normally I do not like when the singer´s voice is altered much but in this song the effect gives the song a kind of old vibe. It is strangely haunting. The end of the album comes with a suprising piano ballad which I am not sure is a whole song or an outro for the album. It is like from another planet compared to the style of other songs on the album. However, the singer does show his ability to sing sad slow songs with a voice sounding vulnerable. The 1975 is a solid first debut album which with its catchy tunes and vibe makes you nodd along to the songs.

Avelin Põldaas

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