Although The 1975 have drawn a large, young, pop-inspired fanbase in the last five years, this hasn’t seemed to stop them from continuing to explore their evolving sound.
Following on from their successful sophomore album ‘I like it when you sleep…’, the band have returned with an envelope-pushing third album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, which is easily the most ostentatious in their discography to date.
From spoken-word interludes, orchestral themes and 80s’ synths, its impossible to say that the record has a continuity – something that works in their favour. They’re no strangers to experimentation; but single ‘Give Yourself A Try’ is a punchy, guitar-driven track in the vein of The 1975 that broke into the mainstream. Although the track makes you ready to dance around immediately, the band continue their theme of up-beat tunes to melancholy lyrics.
‘A Brief Inquiry…’ doesn’t stray far from slower moments, with tracks like ‘How To Draw/Petrichor’ and ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ incredibly chilled-out, but ‘Be My Mistake’ is a stand-out from the album – not for its obscurity – but rather its stripped back sound and sweet, poetic lyrics.
The album finishes with a rather downhearted touch, with ‘I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)’, but it’s a rousing finale that feels as though it belongs in the final ‘prom scene’ of a teen rom-com movie.
‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’ sticks well and true to The 1975 brand, but it’s clear that even five years into their break-out, there’s still no predicting what the band will deliver next.
Dirty Hit Records
Reviewed by Meg Kennedy