The 1975’s 10 Best Songs

Ahead of the arrival of Being Funny in a Foreign Language, we're rounding up the English group's greatest tracks

the 1975 10 best songs

There are British pop rock bands, there are British pop rock bands with charismatic frontmen, and then there’s The 1975. From their inception in the late 2000s, the quartet — comprised of vocalist and songwriter Matty Healy, drummer and producer George Daniel, bassist Ross MacDonald, and guitarist Adam Hahn — have spanned from scrappy funk to post-hardcore, hi-fi pop songs to paranoid New Wave, with songs that can be painfully revealing amidst songs that are jam-packed with jokes and absurdist commentary.

Their 2013 self-titled debut was wildly popular (especially in the Tumblr Era), but the new wave pastiche and occasionally indulgent aura of Matty Healy led to a few detractors — this writer included. At the time, it was hard to understand what was so special about this band, what allowed them to rise so swiftly to the top of the alternative charts besides having a hot British guy singing the songs.

But when the second album was released in 2016, almost ironically titled I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, for many, perception of the band shifted rapidly. It seemed as if Healy and the band were deliberately playing with my own judgment of them from the first album, as they rattle off a laundry list of criticisms they’ve received in the music video for “The Sound.” Healy knew that people were suspicious of his ego and the fandom that surrounded him, so he includes a song like “Love Me” to both poke fun at the concept and, in his own rambling way, endorse it. And nothing would be the same after “Somebody Else,” a bonafide classic of the digital age and one of the most stunning tracks the band has ever crafted.

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When The 1975 returned in 2018 with their third album, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, fans were eager to see what kind of meta commentary would make its way into it. But once again, any expectation that listeners had for what this album was going to sound like was quickly scrapped; the eclectic mix of songs demonstrated the band at their most free-form and experimental, with high contrasts and remarkably urgent songwriting. As we collectively began to process “Love It If We Made It,” the album’s triumphant, achingly relevant centerpiece, it was clear to see: The 1975 is, in fact, a special band.

They followed up A Brief Inquiry… with the similarly complex Notes on a Conditional Form in 2020. Though it featured more genre experiments and a 22 song track list, Notes also found the band exploring a quieter, more subtle approach — an attitude that characterizes the majority of songs on their new album, Being Funny in a Foreign Language, out this Friday, October 14th.

Being Funny… is less of a statement piece than any 1975 album before it, and yet, it’s one of their best albums yet. There are tracks that signal a return to the shiny New Wave sound from their first two records, while also featuring some mediative folk-adjacent tracks that find Healy being deeply sincere. It’s refreshing and fun, and serves as a wonderful reminder of what these four are capable of.


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