The follow-up to U.K. pop band the 1975’s long-winded, sprawling i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it is coming soon—in fact, two follow-ups are promised within the next year. The band’s ambitious plan is to release two albums, one towards the end of 2018 and one in 2019, as part of an “umbrella” known as Music for Cars. The first half of the project, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is out in November (per Billboard), while the second, Notes on a Conditional Form, is targeted for next spring. As yet, there are no confirmed track lists, release dates, or album art, but there are a whole lot of teases. Here’s everything we know so far about the 1975’s new music.
Music for Cars was originally the title of a 2013 EP featuring the 1975’s breakthrough song “Chocolate,” so the new project makes a kind of full-circle sense. In the past, frontman Matt Healy indicated his plan to release just three proper 1975 albums: 2013’s self-titled, 2016’s i like it when you sleep…, and culminating full-length Music for Cars. But as he started working on the would-be final album, per a recent BBC Radio interview, his “drive for music… kicked in at such a rate, I thought, ‘Well I’m not gonna stop doing the 1975 now, I’m not gonna do three albums, I’m going to do loads of albums.’ Not so many that we spoil it, but I’m not stopping making records because I just couldn’t bear the idea of it.” Ergo, Music for Cars transformed from a single project to a whole “era” of music.
There’s also a business rationale behind the double-album project. As 1975 manager and Dirty Hit Records owner Jamie Oborne explained to MusicWeek: “Very early on, [Matt] noted that the promotional window on music is shorter than ever, and the time that people consume it is infinite… If we have a tour cycle that’s going to last 18 months to two years, we have to release two records in the time that we would have previously have released one.”
First album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is about just that
True to the 1975’s genre-hopping spirit, first album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships touches on topics including communication (or lack thereof), addiction in the modern age, and holding onto meaning and love in a constantly shifting, technologically mediated world. It’s about “growing up and taking hold of your shit,” as Healy put it in an interview with Zane Lowe. Another thorough-line is honesty: “What I always used to do is that I’d have a song that would be a romantic song, and there would be a bit where you would think, ‘Okay, here comes the really sentimental bit,’ and then I’d say something irreverent,” Healy said in the same interview. “I’ve done that my whole life [because] it’s easier to be ironic than it is to be a person… I’ve kind of embraced sincerity and embraced these kinds of things that make you feel awkward, and it’s resulted in what the record is like.” Fittingly, one track title confirmed in the Lowe interview is “Sincerity Is Scary.”
We’ve already heard Relationships’ noisy first single “Give Yourself a Try,” which the band engineered and produced themselves. They also released a video for the song, featuring Healy with his hair dyed flaming red. In an interview with Radio X, Healy described “Give Yourself a Try” as a song about “searching for… truth in things that you thought were going to provide you the answer.” And speaking to DIY, he discussed the song in relation to his own stint in rehab for heroin (“I didn’t wanna make a record as a fucking junkie. Who wants to hear that?”) and the decision to include the line, “You’ll make a lot of money, and it’s funny / ‘Cause you’ll move somewhere sunny and get addicted to drugs”: “If you’re gonna care as much as you do with all this pretentious fucking bullshit and all these campaigns, then let’s do it then. Let’s make this exchange really honest and I will, as a fan, give myself to you and not judge you if you just tell me the truth.”
Second single “Love It If We Made It” is politically charged
The 1975 intend to release one song per month, according to Dirty Hit’s Jamie Oborne, and July’s single is the poppier but no less aggressive “Love It If We Made It.” The song’s lyrics raised eyebrows even before release: Healy quotes President Trump twice (“I moved on her like a bitch” and “Thank you Kanye, very cool!”) and shouts out the late emo-rapper Lil Peep. Like “Give Yourself a Try,” “Love It If We Made It” addresses the search for truth and honesty in a time of fake news, though it’s less personal and more directly political. “Made It” finds Healy confronting racism, opioid abuse, and the foibles of modern capitalism: “We’re fucking in a car, shooting heroin / Saying controversial things just for the hell of it / Selling melanin and then suffocate the black men / Start with misdemeanors and we’ll make a business out of them.”
Various lyrics were posted on billboards across England to promote the single:
Though Healy initially told Beats 1 that the 1975 would release Relationships by October, Billboard later reported the album release had moved to November. In a recent Guardian profile, Healy also teased a “Drake-y” tropical house single and a “gothic” song about “wanting to know what your partner is thinking so much, and it driving you so mental that you wanna resort to smashing their head in.” Speaking to Billboard, Healy elaborated on a song titled “It’s Not Living If It’s Not With You,” dubbing it “the big heroin one.” Also on deck: a ballad called “Mine.”
In recent weeks, some fans and media received a promotional packet containing a poster, photo book, and text printouts, which hint that the rest of the album leans towards the more abrasive sound of the new singles: “There’s an anxiety to the 3rd that isn’t present in the first or second or fourth,” it reads, apparently referencing the two existing and two upcoming albums. The packet also includes possible lyrics such as, “Left and right grow more apart / But you can just click ‘Add to Cart,'” though some of the text seems closer to freeform rambles.
While first album Relationships wasn’t yet finished when “Give Yourself a Try” was released (per the BBC interview), the 1975 are already at work on follow-up Notes on a Conditional Form, described by the Guardian as “harder and clubbier.” In a recent tweet, Healy suggested the band will have two albums ready to play live by January. His father, actor Tim Healy, confirmed he’d contributed a song of his own written when his son was 11, adding, “You can hear it April.” The elder Healy also posted a picture of himself playing piano on the track. Additionally, it appears the 1975 are recording with an orchestra, which would be a first for the band. As bombastic as they were before, the Music for Cars era may take the 1975 to a new level of audacity.
This post will be updated with new information as it becomes available.