The Hyundai Mercury Prize 2019 Review - A Brief Guide to The 1975

Aug 6, 2019


By all accounts, The 1975 is the embodiment of teenage angst, youthful exuberance, and millennial anxiety all rolled into one. With their unique visual aesthetic, it's hard to ignore a band of this magnitude. Led by frontman Matty Healy, they have been releasing music since the early 2010s and have been consistently growing their fanbase.  The group hit their apex recently with their newest album A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships winning at the 2019 BRIT awards and hitting number one across the world. Now they are nominated for their second Mercury Prize award.

Below is a list of songs that are curated to give you a taste of what the band is all about!


Here is a guide to the 1975: 

The band's 2013 eponymous album set the stage for a group ready for superstardom. Compared to their more ambitious work, this album may get over-looked, but that would be a huge mistake. An album that, in hindsight, might be a bit amateurish, but it's one that showed an immense amount of potential. The album was also the start of many iconic trends that The 1975 would start.

1. Every album following this one starts out with the same set of lyrics, just rearranged.

2. The iconic box album cover, with the exception of A Brief Inquiry and the upcoming Notes on a Conditional Form, will be used as for the next two releases. This cover was the staple of their early EP's. 

Notes on a Conditional Form album cover.

This record is jam-packed full of hits like “Chocolate”, “The City”, and “Robbers”. Many of these songs would become fan favorites overnight.  Matty and co. were crafting extremely catchy indie-pop songs that were just aching to be sung in an arena. A formidable deluxe edition of the album gave fans, even more, to listen to with an additional set of songs added from a slew of various EP'.s  The 1975 would debut number one on the UK Albums chart and has since become certified platinum.

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it.

I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it album cover.


Long album title aside, I like it when you sleep was a great step forward for The 1975. Departing from the arena rock from their debut, this record sees the band incorporating 80's pop and funk influences to create a more euphoric experience. It was more polished and sounded absolutely luminescent at points. Tracks like “She's American”, “Love Me”, “Loving Someone” and “Paris” are just some of the stand-out moments on this album. 

Notably, no two songs on I like it when you sleep sound exactly the same. With an album that runs as long as this one, that definitely manages to be a huge benefit. This record also hit number one in the UK, as well as the United States and Australia. 

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships 

A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships album cover.

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is the band's long-awaited magnum opus; it's a kaleidoscopic and panoramic pop record. In a sense, this album is the fully realized potential that The 1975 have been working towards achieving. A Brief Inquiry is a detailed look into many of society's most pressing issues. With a band of this size and influence, it's no secret why this album resonated with so many listeners.

Socially conscious music can often times feel platitudinal and ultimately lead to nothing being done about the issue being discussed. This album strives to be much more than that. “Love It If We Made It” is the anthem of hope amongst all of the current doom that is presented to us daily.  “Sincerity is Scary” talks about the tendency that we have to never act sincerely towards one another and how that affects our relationships. The running theme of the album is simply “trying”; trying to be better despite what everyone else is doing. A Brief Inquiry is one of those rare albums that is both a grand artistic endeavor and captivating pop-rock hybrid. 

This album was the first album in the “Music for Cars” era that consists of this record and the upcoming 2020 release Notes on a Conditional Form.