Straddling the line between hooky dance-rock and vintage adult contemporary sophistication, Britain's the 1975 found massive success in the 2010s with their distinctively arty, if still undeniably mainstream, pop aesthetic. Showcasing lead singer Matt Healy's croon, they built a loyal following with their extroverted live performances and buzzed-about 2012 single "Sex." The track was included in their 2013 eponymous full-length debut, which brought them international stardom, topping the charts in the U.K. and reaching the Top 30 on the Billboard 200. They fared even better with their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, which hit number one in both the U.K. and the U.S. and found them adding even more ambitious R&B influences to their sound.
Originally, the members of the 1975 met in 2002 while attending high school in Wilmslow, Cheshire, a suburb of Manchester. They started out covering punk songs and playing at local all-ages shows before inevitably beginning to explore their own original material and trademark sound. In 2012, they released their first EP, Facedown, on the U.K. indie label Dirty Hit, and soon thereafter supported Little Comets on their nationwide tour. The lead track from the debut EP, "The City," was played on Huw Stephens' BBC Radio 1 show, and the quartet's energetic live performances endeared them to crowds, while their music began to sweep across music blogs. Toward the end of 2012, the band released the Sex EP, and the title track was played by influential BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe.
In 2013, a third EP appeared, spawning the U.K. Top 20 single "Chocolate." The band's popularity continued to rise as they continued to play shows across the U.K., and were also invited to perform at industry showcase SXSW in conjunction with a U.S. tour. That same year, the 1975 delivered their eponymous debut full-length, recorded with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals). Featured on the album were several previously released tracks, including "Chocolate" and "Sex," as well as the singles "Settle Down" and "Girls," the latter of which peaked at number 12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart. A number one album in the U.K., The 1975 helped build the band's reputation in the States, where it reached number 28 on the Billboard 200.
The 1975 returned in 2016 with their sophomore full-length album, the Crossey-produced I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. Featuring the singles "Love Me" and "The Sound," it found the band moving toward a more '80s adult contemporary pop and R&B-influenced style. To promote the album, the band toured the U.K., Europe, and North America, and made a high-profile appearance on Saturday Night Live. The album debuted at number one in the U.K. and U.S. and was shortlisted for the esteemed Mercury Prize. In February 2017, the band released a cover of Sade's "By Your Side" to benefit the U.K. charity group War Child.
The band's third full-length, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, arrived in 2018 and featured the single "Give Yourself a Try." The album was the first in a purported two-part release, with the second album (and the 1975's fourth full-length) Notes on a Conditional Form planned for 2019. ~ Matt Collar