I like it when I listen to the 1975 for I am always reminded of my adolescence

Photo by Abbey Steinman

By Abbey Steinman

The thought of turning 20 has been both the highlight and buzzkill of my year. It’s my last few months being 19, and being this age reminds me that my adolescence is coming to an end. I’m still immature and clumsy. I forget how to do things immediately after I’m taught how to do them. All I want to do is just breathe and lose track of time. Yet, each day is passing by faster and faster. I thought it was January, but now we’re in April. My sense of time has been entirely off the rails. Is this what it feels like to become an adult? 

If so, I don’t want it. 

I want to feel the same way I felt when I was in my early teens, experiencing things like relationships, friendship battles, and going to house parties for the first time. I never thought that one day I would just stop being a teenager, nor did I prepare myself for it. If anything, I’m far away from adapting to this whole “adulting” thing. I feel like I still have the same mindset I did when I was 14 because not only am I still young, dumb, and naive, but I refuse to grow out of it. I can confirm this as a fact because I’m still a 1975 fangirl. 

Even though I’ve spent the last five years listening to their music, my passion for them hasn’t changed. There’s some sort of an attachment I have to their first two albums, THE 1975 (2014), and I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016). These two albums are the foundations of the group’s discography, and every fan knows that. Heck, these albums are the foundations of my adolescence. Well, if it wasn’t for the help of a website known as Tumblr, I’m not sure where the band would be (and myself). However, that’s beside the point. 

Each time I listen to The 1975, it becomes more relatable than I remember. I feel like a wise man when I come across the two albums. It’s almost as if they’ve aged like fine wine. I was 14 when I started listening to the band as I was introduced to them by a family friend. I vividly remember being in her 2015 Toyota Corolla and her asking me if I’ve ever heard of the group. I quickly said no, and seconds after, she immediately played “Robbers” followed by “Chocolate.” The dark sky casted over us, and the only light present was her car screen. The 1975 self titled album cover was brightly displayed despite it only being black and white. From that moment on, my ears couldn’t get enough of their music. (And yes, the way Matty Healy, frontman, sings “Chocolate” lives in my head rent free.) After that night was over, I remember racing to my desktop as soon as I got home. I went down the rabbit hole, bad. My Youtube search history only consisted of the group’s music videos, live performances, and even lyrics videos. I probably watched everything that was published at the time. 

Before I got into the band, I went through my early 2000s indie and alternative rock phase. So, listening to a fresh British indie pop-rock group was a whole new experience. I knew a new phase was about to begin… The 2014 Tumblr phase we’re all familiar with to specify. 

All of the sudden, I only craved to wear the color black. Surely everyone was going through their own emo phase, and this was mine. I went from wearing Care Bear t-shirts to all black skinny jeans and a random black shirt. Eventually, this led to me begging my parents for a new band t-shirt every time we went to the mall and stumbled upon Hot Topic. 

Day after day, I would listen to The 1975 walking in my dark gazed outfits- well maybe the same three outfits on rotation. I didn’t wear the same thing every day, but the moment I put on those black skinny jeans felt like I was closer to the band. That was all Matty Healy would wear. Oh, to feel that cool once again. 

Whether it was walking to the bus stop, taking a shower, or rotting away in my bedroom, I would always lip-sync their lyrics. My young adolescent imagination took over me like a whirlpool, but it was apparent I didn’t mind it one bit. I was living in my own dream…. or as the band would say, “This Must Be My Dream.”

Even though The 1975 aren’t a perfect band, they were a perfect band to me. There were certain things I haven’t experienced, let alone felt. The romance that was glorified in the movies and shows I watched left me feeling hopeless. However, The 1975 was able to help fill those gaps of uncertain emotions and reassure me repeatedly that I could feel these things through their music. Listening to songs such as “Robbers” and, of course, “Somebody Else,” always contained such imagery that was distinct to me. It was almost as if I was living through those songs. 

Lines like “You’ve got a pretty kinda dirty face” (from Robbers) and “Our love has gone cold/You’re intertwining yourself with somebody else,” (from Somebody Else) are ingrained into my brain. To feel these things and relate to them was something I’ve always managed to accomplish. The 1975 raised me to romanticize everything, truly…

The synths and the beats they wrote and produced also felt like they captured my adolescence before it began without meaning to. My life isn’t a movie, but The 1975 allowed me to escape and make me believe it was. And because of that, I think that’s one of the best things about their music. 

I didn’t expect to become attached to such songs with lengthy titles and dreamy pillow talk lyrics, let alone feel like I could disappear into another reality. Yet, after each piece was over, I always craved to hear another one. I was becoming attached… Songs like “Sex” and “You” ended up dictating my life, playlists, and emotions. It’s almost inescapable at this point, but it’s not like I don’t mind it. Instead, it brings a comfort feeling that’s sparkled with a hint of nostalgia. 

Not only that, but The 1975 showed me how the whole philosophy of music bringing people together is as accurate as ever. I can confirm this because the band led me to develop one of the strongest and most beautiful friendships I have to this date. 

When the group of four were touring the country back in 2016, we were excited as any fangirl could be. However, we both didn’t have anyone to go to the concert with. Both of us were just mini freshmen who had a mutual relationship with one another. Out of nowhere, we decided to go to the show together, and little did we both know that decision would change our lives. 

It ended up being the first 1975 concert out of three that went together. Each one had its own experience; however, certain traditions have remained intact throughout each show. Exhibit A: I’ve managed to cry each time I heard “Robbers” live. Exhibit B: the band’s closing song being “The Sound.” It’s been the closer song ever since it came out, and I can only hope it remains that way. 

So, while everyone’s feeling the synths throughout their bodies and becoming lost in the music once more, they’re aware that the song’s bridge is the last time they’ll feel alive at the show. The moment Matty Healy screams, “ONE! TWO! THREE! F******G JUMP!” is the last time the crowd goes insane together.

Once the crowd lifts themselves off their feet and jumps synchronously, the ground beneath them begins to shake sporadically. It’s almost as if there was an earthquake occurring, but it’s me and the crowd. Everyone’s hair and sweat are flying everywhere while Adam Hann’s iconic guitar solo takes place, and Matty repeats the chorus once more. It’s strange to think this was the most alive I felt at their concert. Typically, the closing song is the song you should least look forward to because it’s the sign the show and these feelings are about to end; however, hearing “The Sound” is something I’ve never failed to anticipate. 

With that in mind, The 1975 brought a lot of good into my life. I believe that’s a firm reason why I listen to them from time to time today. Sometimes there are certain parts of the year where I only crave to listen to them for a week straight- you know, to get it out of my system. It’s a given I’ll always listen to the first two albums front to back with no skips. 

Despite me not being a major fan of their new work, it doesn’t mean I’ve lost touch with the band. I keep up with what they’re doing from time to time, and it feels like old friends catching up again. 

At this point, it feels like there’s a section of my brain that’s dedicated to them. Even though I’m becoming more of an “adult” every day and turning the big 2-0 this year, the moment I hear the first three seconds of a 1975 song, I know the 14-year-old me is still radiating with sunshine. 


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