At first glance, it’s hard to imagine that an album titled, “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” released from the band, The 1975, is hardly a serious release.
However, The 1975, a British rock band that hails from Cheshire, England, shows that there is more than a lengthy title to the release of their second studio album.
The long album title, taken from a song of the same name, hardly does the band’s album justice, yet encompasses the over-embellished and dramatic feel that they are famously known for.
Led by 26-year-old lead singer Matty Healy, the band debuted atop the Billboard 200 album chart with “Sleep” at the same time that their album was No. 1 in their home country.
This newly acclaimed success may come as a surprise to someone who hasn’t checked up on the band since last May.
Around that time the band appeared to be calling it quits, posting things like, “As much as we would like things to stay the same, change is an inevitable part of life. We can’t simply go on forever — always staying the same, never evolving.” on their social media accounts.
What many fans and listeners were not expecting was a total rebrand and aesthetic change of the band.
The band previously sported a dark black and white logo with the release of their debut album, “The 1975.”
The announcement of the new album, “Sleep,” brought highlighted soft pink and blue hues to the famous logo and marked a complete reinvention of The 1975 name.
With a new logo, of course, came new music.
The first single of “Sleep,” “Love Me” was released on Oct. 8 and immediately shocked fans with its upbeat, stringy, ’80s pop-funk feel.
“Love Me” sounds as if it could’ve been pulled directly from the era itself, but it’s current lyrics and multiple layers of electronic noises give it that “The 1975 sound” that many fans can still recognize.
Healy attributes much of his inspiration to artists of the era like David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears and The Bile Nile while lyrically being quite morose and self-deprecating.
’80s infused sounds can be found all throughout the album in singles like “UGH!” and “She’s American.”
Another standout song from the album, “The Sound,” acts as an anthem for this generation, and will quickly give a listener the feel-good vibes they are looking for to get through the day.
“This Must Be My Dream” is another upbeat jam that includes its fair share of techno-infused noises with a mix of jazz funk.
“Sleep” is hardly a total feel-good album however.
A more serious side of “Sleep” is revealed with shadows of a church choir and with lyrics that tackle the questions of religion in “If I Believe You.”
This gospel melody holds no limits of faith exploration and sends chills with the honest sincerity in Healy’s voice.
Perhaps one of the best songs from the album is the simplest and most heartbreaking, called “Nana.”
The song, written about Healy’s grandmother, expresses the loss of a loved one and fully exposes Healy’s sincere, emotional side.
The singer’s voice cracks in singing the lyrics, “I think you can tell, I haven’t been doing too well,” but the error only aids in giving the track a more personal and intimate feel.
The final song of the album, “She Lays Down,” also pulls on the listener’s heartstrings and is written about Healy’s mother’s postpartum depression she experienced after having him.
A simple acoustic set and Healy’s vocals give the album a perfect personal ending.
The song finishes with a few seconds of silence and then the spoken words, “That was it.” from Healy, which perfectly brings the album’s conclusion.
The 1975 shows no limits in song content with songs ranging in topics of love, drugs, pop-culture, depression and religion in “Sleep.”
The versatility also exudes from music itself, with sound layers of electronic buzz, jazz, gospel and ’80s pop.
With its diversity, “Sleep” truly is a work of art, showcasing the sheer talent and beauty that is The 1975.
The band will be touring the U.S. this spring and summer for promotion of “Sleep.”
Consider making a trip this spring to see The 1975 play in Philadelphia, Toronto, Columbus, Ohio, or New York City. I have a feeling it’ll be worth the drive.