If you thought The 1975 were just another group of tween heart-throbs, think again. This Manchester band certainly have a legion of teenage followers, but they are also responsible for a sizeable chunk of genuinely innovative alternative pop and rock reaching mainstream audiences in the last few years. The running time of their second album is almost as long as its unpronounceable name. Thankfully, it’s also surprisingly splendid.
The Beach Boys’s surf rock meets Duran Duran’s ‘Reflex’, zapped by a passing UFO: that’s the gaudy flair behind ‘Love Me’. And it’s great. Much of the music on ILIWYS has a similar warped quality to it, such as ‘UGH!’, but frontman Matthew Healy and company have gone further, and expanded the psychedelia found on their early EPs into some spectacular love-struck dream pop.
The woozy ‘A Change of Heart’ has a melodic allure similar to Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’. Slow jam ‘If I Believe You’ isn’t as deadly as a Frank Ocean joint, but it’s still prime for dance-floor coupling. They even manage to outdo Peace when it comes to their attempt at transatlantic flirting (‘She’s America’).
The 1975’s self-titled debut album was lots fun at first – particularly for festival goers – but it also lacked the The xx-esque sensations found on their early EPs. With ILIWYS, the band have returned with imaginative psychedelia and dream pop songs that are catchy and tongue-in-cheek, but also wonderfully moreish.
I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It is out now on Dirty Hit/Polydor Records.
Image: Dirty Hit/Polydor