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Unstable by Zak Abel

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Zak Abel Unstable
Matty Healy

By now, you might have already seen the 1975's very special performance with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at The Blackpool Tower Ballroom at the end of September. If you haven't then, mate, you need to get on that right now.

It only feels natural to give an orchestral makeover to a record like I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It - the album is so expansive and ambitious, you might as well turn it up to eleven and give it the full grandeur of sweeping strings and brooding horn sections. 

One of the unexpected standouts from the set was their emotionally devastating cover of What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction (above). It got us right in the feels. We didn't think we'd ever recover but through copious amounts of chocolate and therapy, we did.

It got us thinking though: how many of the 1975's songs make us want to blubber like a baby? Turns out, there are quite a few. So we singled just five out that really turn on the water works. Because what's more fun that a group sobbing session to your favourite band, amirite?

 

5. 'She Lays Down'

Postnatal depression isn't your typical lyrical fodder for pop songs, but that's exactly what we get on 'She Lays Down'. It's even more remarkable given that Matty's mum, Denise Welch, is a very famous actress in the UK and he doesn't hold back. The lyrics confront how helpless and inescapable the situation can be. One line recalls how, after Matty's birth on a trip to visit his father, that she wanted the plane to 'fall from the sky', and how "she's appalled...she doesn't love me at all".

Despite the dark subject matter, we think it's an incredibly sweet gesture, particularly as it's from the perspective of a son about his own mother's postnatal depression, because, as Denise said herself, so many women suffer with it in silence. It's heartwarming...but it'll get the tears flowing fo sho.

Most likely to: make you call your mum

 

4. 'A Change Of Heart'

Everyone's got a breaking point. On this song, we learn Matty's. In fact, there are many. Posting pictures of salad and putting it on the internet is one, or being accused of being 'full of diseases' is another, and perhaps most brutally, that he 'looks shit and smells a bit'. Ouch! This one's a charmer! The whole song is like a Rocky Balboa, blow-by-blow, retelling of the death of a relationship. Cheery stuff. 

Respect to Matty for that. Imagine writing down a list of insults, putting them in a song and then singing them night after night to thousands of people? Damn son. We're welling up just thinking about it.

Most likely to: put you off insulting people, for about a day

 

3. 'Medicine'

This song might have passed the more casual fan by but it's certainly worth checking out. It was written specifically for the 2014 Drive re-release, in which a new soundtrack for the film was curated by Zane Lowe. The idea of a new soundtrack was quite controversial with fans of the film and, to be fair, considering the original soundtrack is so critically lauded (and completely brilliant), it was perhaps a misstep to offer an 'alternative' to the original.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT this is a rather brilliant song. It harks back to the early 1975 EPs, prior to their debut album, and it really digs deep into the atmospheric sounds of Joy Division and The Velvet Underground. Play this on a starry night to get the real emotional thwack. 

Most likely to: question whether you will ever watch a film with Ryan Gosling in ever again

 

2. 'Somebody Else'

This is the 1975 doing what they do best; exploring the murky side of human emotions, the things you're not supposed to talk about. In 'Somebody Else', Matty imagines an ex-girlfriend with a new lover. Despite the fact he is no longer interested in her, it still gets to him to picture her with somebody else. Why? Because he's fucking human and sometimes humans get irrationally jealous about things. It's not very logical, but it's very real. 

In the end, he seems resigned to give up on love completely ('fuck that, get money!'). Do we believe him? Nahhh. We think Matty's got a few more breakup songs left in him yet. 

Most likely to: make you drunk text your ex that you still love them

 

1. 'Nana'

In our eyes there was only one song by the 1975 that could really lay claim to the title of biggest tearjerker in their catalog, and this was it. 'Nana' is a letter to his grandmother who passed away. The small observational details in the lyrics are really the clincher when it comes to having a breakdown. "Don't like it, now you're dead", Matty offers in a casual, deadpan way, before offering up, "It's not the same when I scratch my own head, I haven't got the nails for it". You can literally picture the empty armchair where Matty's nan sat while scratching his voluptuous mane of hair. Fucking hell.

And then the final line. You hear Matty's voice break as he confesses, "But I'm bereft you see, I think you can tell... I haven't been doing too well". You'd have to be a monster not to have a quivering lip or damp eyes after hearing that - I couldn't stop thinking about it for days after first hearing it. If Matty has just one skill in life, it's getting under your skin.

Most likely to: make you need to call the samaritans


Do you agree? Was 'Robbers' robbed? Let us know in the comments.

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