The 1975 – “People” Video

The 1975 are nothing if not ambitious. Sometimes, their creative aspirations are so lofty that they blow past the also-ambitious deadlines they set for themselves. To wit: Originally the plan was to follow up last November’s massive A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships with another album called Notes On A Conditional Form in May. Spring came and went without a new LP. There was talk of a new single in June, but the band ended up going back to record more new material before beginning a fresh rollout.

In late July they were still promoting A Brief Inquiry on American TV. But a day after that James Corden appearance, they finally shared our first preview of Notes On A Conditional Form. Like the opening tracks from the first three 1975 albums, it was called “The 1975.” Unlike the others, it featured a speech from teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg set to an emotionally charged instrumental. And now, in addition to confirming a 2/21 release date for Notes On A Conditional Form, they’ve shared the album’s first official single. It’s a doozy.

“People,” the second song on the tracklist, is by far the most aggressive song in the band’s catalog — a serrated noise-punk onslaught that reminds me of early Liars, LCD Soundsystem, Death From Above 1979, and Metz. There is truly no other 1975 song like it. The lyrics, though, are pure Matty Healy, as extra as you’d expect and/or hope for. Sample: “My generation wanna fuck Barack Obama/ Living in a sauna with legal marijuana!” Healy screams every word at the top of his lungs over static detonations and brutally chugging low end.

It’s really something — and that’s before you factor in the video, which finds Healy in corpse paint, long straight black hair, and a series of suits that render him somewhere between Marilyn Manson, Jack Nicholson’s Joker, and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Healy and the band perform against a background that conjures the sensory overload of today’s online experience. Directors Healy, Warren Fu, and Ben Ditto earned the seizure warning on this one, so watch out for that where applicable.

I recommend listening to the song without the video first. Although both will elicit strong reactions even by 1975 standards, the video definitely changed my perception of the song, and not necessarily for the better. Your mileage may vary. As always, no one can say they didn’t go for it.

Watch and/or listen below, and imagine how this song will alter the 1975 live show.

Full lyrics:

WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!
IT’S MONDAY MORNING AND WE’VE ONLY GOT A THOUSAND OF THEM LEFT
WELL I KNOW IT FEELS POINTLESS AND YOU DON’T HAVE ANY
MONEY BUT WE’RE ALL JUST GONNA TRY OUR FUCKING BEST
WELL MY GENERATION WANNA FUCK BARACK
OBAMA LIVING IN A SAUNA WITH LEGAL MARIJUANA
WELL GIRLS, FOOD, GEAR – I DON’T LIKE GOING
OUTSIDE SO BRING ME EVERYTHING HERE!
PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE THEY WANT ALIVE PEOPLE THE
YOUNG SURPRISE PEOPLE STOP FUCKING WITH THE KIDS
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!
WE ARE APPALLING AND WE NEED TO STOP JUST WATCHING SHIT IN BED
AND I KNOW IT SOUNDS BORING AND WE LIKE THINGS THAT
ARE FUNNY BUT WE NEED TO GET THIS IN OUR FUCKING HEADS
THE ECONOMY’S A GONER
REPUBLIC’S A BANANA
IGNORE IT IF YOU WANNA
FUCK IT I’M JUST GONNA GET GIRLS, FOOD, GEAR – I DON’T
LIKE GOING OUTSIDE SO BRING ME EVERYTHING HERE
PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE THEY WANT ALIVE PEOPLE THE
YOUNG SURPRISE PEOPLE STOP FUCKING WITH THE KIDS

Notes On A Conditional Form is out 2/21 on Interscope/Dirty Hit.

CREDIT: Jordan Hughes