The 1975’s 30 Greatest Songs, Ranked

The 1975’s 30 Greatest Songs, Ranked

Though the Cheshire quartet The 1975 have been a band for over 20 years, they didn’t reach the cultural zeitgeist fully until they put out their debut, self-titled record in 2013. Since then, across five total albums, the band has ballooned into one of the most polarizing and important acts of this century. Perfectly merging synth-pop, punk, new wave and indie rock into one cauldron of unfathomably catchy songwriting, The 1975 are a truly singular act that have largely gone unparalleled in the last decade. Led by the often-alluring, sometimes-controversial frontman Matty Healy, the band have developed their own edge and trademark. Each album, from The 1975 through last year’s Being Funny In a Foreign Language, builds on itself and helps expand the group’s own sonic potential. Whatever comes next for The 1975 is sure to dazzle just as deftly as the two decades of work that has preceded it.


As the band are currently embarking on a long world tour and the 10th anniversary of The 1975 is set to arrive in just a matter of weeks, we thought it was high-time we sat down and pieced through the band’s discography and pulled out the best of the best. From “Sex” to “Robbers” to “People,” we’ve narrowed our list down from almost 100 tracks to a manageable amount. So, without further ado, here are the 30 greatest The 1975 songs ranked. —Matt Mitchell & Miranda Wollen

30. “The City” (The 1975, 2013)
It’s hard to not have a soft spot for “The City,” given that it was The 1975’s debut single back in the summer of 2012. They hadn’t yet taken on stardom with their first album, only having the EP Facedown to their name. But “The City” is a great first offering from a band that was only going to get better and better with each passing album. That’s not to say that the song hasn’t aged well—because it’s aged quite properly in The 1975’s canon—but more so to acknowledge that the band has made much, much better work since this debut. “You wanna find love, then you know where the city is” remains an instrumental idea in Healy and co.’s repertoire, as the idea of metropolism and hope are always intersecting across their discography. —MM

Watch The 1975 perform “The City” at Stage on Sixth in 2013 here.

29. “Frail State of Mind” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
The third single on The 1975’s fourth album is instrumental and vulnerable with a trademark vibey undertone. Healy’s singular ability to identify, jab at and, ultimately, avoid fixing his own issues atop a bed of shimmering piano and crackling synth comprises one of the group’s best tropes. That rhythmically tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation defines “Frail State of Mind.” The tune stands out from its contemporaries because it demonstrates that magic combination so fluidly; there’s little bravado in Healy’s description of his faltering mental health, but the song is decidedly poppy in both instrumentation and beat. That oh-so-1975 admixture cuts like a knife every time, and this entry is no exception. —Miranda Wollen

28. “Roadkill” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
“Roadkill” is, in my opinion, a criminally underrated 1975 banger. The twanging, punchy guitars, the explosive, sparkling chorus and Healy’s mention of his hard-on 20 seconds in—it has all the ingredients of The 1975 greatness. It’s part-love song, part-self-inflicted roast, part-anonymous fuck you; a holy trinity for the band. “Roadkill” is foot-tappy and upbeat, with some of the best lyricism on Notes On a Conditional Form. “I took shit for being quiet during the election. Maybe that’s fair, but I’m a busy guy,” Healy croons, careening into a stinging chorus as he details the impossibility of touring in America. There’s something so quintessentially braggadocious in complaining about the responsibilities of your artistry through your art, and no one’s better suited to it than dear old Matty. —MW

27. “Sex” (The 1975, 2013)
One of the most anthemic tracks The 1975 have made, “Sex” is blistering, glittering indie rock with emo undertones—and that’s what helps make it such an enduring effort from Matty Healy and co. Released in August 2013, it fell into a transitional moment where rock ‘n’ roll was playing tug-of-war with mainstream, radio-friendly bubblegum and a towering pop-punk revival that would slowly dissipate within a few years. But on “Sex,” The 1975 built a song that would last, as Healy sings of hooking up with a woman who’s dating someone else. “They all got boyfriends anyway” is one of his sharper lyrical turns, as he laments always falling for the wrong people. —MM

Watch The 1975 perform “Sex” at Stage on Sixth in 2013 here.

26. “Be My Mistake” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
The lyric that launched a thousand teary-eyed TikToks isn’t even the best part of this gut-wrenching chapter from the band’s third album. “Be My Mistake” details a clandestine affair of Healy’s, one he knows is sucking the lifeblood from his relationship with his true beloved. Drooping, quiet pianos and simple, sparse guitar create a quiet, intimate sonic atmosphere for him to deliver his confessional, too. “You do make me hard, but she makes me weak,” he practically whispers into the microphone, as his voice creaks with emotion. The loneliness Healy admits to and the guilt he professes make him more sympathetic in this track than in much of his jauntier work; there’s something fundamentally human he captures in the internal war he details, a sort of particularity in the universal that urges you to connect with him. —MW

25. “Part Of The Band” (Being Funny In a Foreign Language, 2022)
If there’s one thing Matty Healy will kill every time, it’s an opening line. Slicing violins support him as he warbles: “She was part of the Air Force, I was part of the band. I always used to bust into her hand, in my, my, my imagination.” What more could you want from the first 30 seconds of a song? “Part Of The Band” continues to be one of the richest—and funniest—lyrical forays on Being Funny In a Foreign Language. From “Eating stuff off of motorbikes, cumming to her lookalikes” to “Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas, sitting east on their communista keisters,” you never know what Healy’s going to utter next on this stunner, which crescendos into a melty instrumental as it deescalates. There’s a maturity to the song, too, that becomes apparent as it softens, demonstrating the lyrical and personal growth Healy’s undergone through a decade of stardom. “Am I ironically woke? The butt of my joke?” Healy questions with an irresistible self-awareness. He might be, but it’s an incredibly catchy joke nonetheless. —MW

24. “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
Healy calls “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” a “perfect song.” Perfect or not, this single off the group’s 2018 album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is catchy as hell; a maximalist synth celebration full of playfully obvious autotune, electropop dance breaks, and distorted, warbling backing vocals. As per usual, Healy cheekily describes the reciprocally mild infidelity that categorizes his relationship with a casual disdain, half-assedly apologizing as he jabs at his lover’s own hypocrisy. Repetitive and breezy, the tune brushes past you with the sort of enviable self-possession that only The 1975 can emulate. Perhaps as a result, “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME” is three-and-a-half minutes of confident noise, a sonic rollercoaster representative of the band’s contribution to the hyperpop renaissance. —MW

23. “Girls” (The 1975, 2013)
Perhaps the best pop song from 2013 that didn’t crack the Hot 100, “Girls” just goes. It got some radio airplay back then, but—like much of The 1975’s work of that era—the song existed just beyond the mainstream. Nonetheless, “Girls” is great, there’s no denying just how perfect of a melody it has. It’s the song you can look back on and vividly see just how destined the band was to become, arguably, one of the biggest bands on the planet a decade later. It’s a very coming-of-age lyrical endeavor from Healy, as he writes of a relationship going from a hook-up to something much more committed and worrisome—lusting for the freedom of casual dating and sex and having your heart broken. “One moment I was tearing off your blouse, now you’re living in my house,” he sings. “What happened to just messing around?” Much less tongue-in-cheek than something like “Chocolate” but just as sonically rewarding, “Girls” takes the cake as one of the best efforts from The 1975’s self-titled debut—fully deserving of its platinum certification in the UK and lifelong musical immortality. —MM

22. “Guys” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
There are far too few bro-focused love letters these days. “Guys” seeks to remedy that epidemic. This has got to be one of the band’s most saccharine tracks, perhaps the only love song in their whole discography without a single barb or sex reference in it. It’s endearing to hear Healy reflect on the love he feels for his career and his bandmates with gratitude and sincerity. It’s unrestrained and unembarrassed, nostalgic and hopeful. It’s the last song on Notes On a Conditional Form, too, an intentional note which brings an additional pathos to it—the joy of being The 1975 becomes an end in and of itself. Soft, looping guitars and gentle harmonics add a sense of intimacy to the track, making it impossible not to appreciate when it’s all said and done. —MW

21. “Then Because She Goes” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
The best word to describe this stellar midpoint to Notes On a Conditional Form is just: banger. It’s like a more polished version of “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” this time embellishing a cognizant use of sonic maximalism and comparatively modest autotune. Plus, the lyrics are totally hypnotic: “You are mine, I’ve been drowning in you. You fracture light again,” Healy trills in one of the most affectionate moments on the LP—and that’s saying something. Killer guitars and bashing drums bring a power to Healy’s words, a sort of oomph that carries them home. Yet, the tune’s almost shoegazey in its thematics, dreamy and yearning without turning melancholy. Phoebe Bridgers provides gorgeous backing vocals here, too, making it a higher-octane sister track to its successor, “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America.” —MW

20. “Me & You Together Song” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
Another near-perfect song off of Notes On a Conditional Form, this self-explanatory ditty details the excruciating friends-to-lovers hypothetical we’ve all experienced. Meant to be a part of the soundtrack to German, Healy’s film that never was, the tune dips into fantasy both sonically and lyrically—eclipsed through loopily dreamy guitars and arpeggiating vocals. It’s sad and bouncy and hopeful all at the same time, a smorgasbord of dream poppy emotion with a twist of British nonchalance. The track’s supposed to emulate the group’s earlier work: hazy and unconcerned with precision. It sounds like it, but in a way that reads authentic and heartful. That homespun ideal, combined with the band’s recent production capabilities, create a track as smooth as it is sincere. It’s the perfect song to idealize your own life to; thank god it didn’t come out when I was 14. —MW

19. “The Sound” (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, 2016)
Perhaps one of the band’s poppiest songs ever, “The Sound” was originally penned by Healy and offered to One Direction—but the English boy band declined. I think that rejection was a godsend, as The 1975 merged house and synth-pop to turn the track into an unequivocally great and beautiful and funky anthem of desire and sex. “And you say I’m such a cliche, I can’t see the difference in it either way,” Healy sings. “And we left things to protect my mental health, but you call me when you’re bored and you’re playing with yourself.” What’s interesting about “The Sound” is how great of a bridge between The 1975 and I like it when you sleep it is. Poppy enough to be a centerpiece on the selfi-titled and narratively mature enough to fit nicely on their sophomore effort, “The Sound” is catchy, confident and, as Healy himself even once said, “ear candy.” —MM

18. “Give Yourself a Try” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
Another dancey, maximalist track off the group’s third LP, “Give Yourself a Try” is a surprisingly introspective take on aging. Healy talks to his younger self and implores the younger generation to keep going in a really affecting way. That sort of unexpected humanity is what makes The 1975’s best music. Pop-punk guitars are softened by Healy’s gentle imploration, a millennial battle cry from one of the definitional figures of his generation. The tune is based on Joy Division’s “Disorder,” Gen-X’s version of the same ideas, and that musical connection is comforting—a cross-generational recognition of a fundamentally human problem. It fits cheekily as the lead single for an album called A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships as the marker of a fleeting age, an anxiously aware cry for help packaged in a jumpy, melodic instrumentation. —MW

17. “I’m In Love With You” (Being Funny In a Foreign Language, 2022)
I have a total soft spot for an artist’s return to the high-energy pop that brought them fame, and this single off the group’s most-recent LP is a prime example. I wake up every morning thanking the pop production gods for Jack Antonoff and his ability to encourage indie-pop artists to churn out the occasional glittery dance anthem. There’s something special about a song that actually feels like it’s meant to be clapped to; it signals a refusal of seriousness that works perfectly with the tune’s breezy levity. Add to that the fact that it’s a devotional hymn to FKA Twigs, and I’m sold. There’s an earnesty to the song, despite the ease that grounds it in reality: a legitimate and universally relatable need for love. Reading that Healy actually admitted to struggling with the “sentimentality of the ordeal,” making this tune a challenge for the singer to write, only adds to its pathos. Though it contains some cringingly oversimplified platitudes on mixed-race relationships, the track is swooping and energetic, a joyride of compassion and desire. —MW

16. “UGH!” (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, 2016)
Knowing what we know now, that Healy went to rehab and is a recovering addict, the story he tells on “UGH!” is not as easy to get obsessed with as it was in 2016 when it came out. A pretty obvious profile of being so coked up that you can’t fuck or socialize, “UGH!” is a pretty morose track underneath its shiny, funk-inspired new wave arrangement. It’s a glittering, perfect song that is as contemplative as it is danceable. Taking a page out of rock music’s long, storied history of making odes to drug use seem almost indistinguishable from crooning tales of desire and sex, “UGH!” succeeds in being a rendering of infatuation—for better or for worse. “You’re meant to be helping me,” Healy sings. “When I said I liked it better without my money, I lied. It took me a little while to recognize that I’m not giving it up again.” It’s one of the best parts of I like it when you sleep, and a well-rounded pop masterpiece. —MM


15. “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
Sometimes, when this song comes on in my shuffle, I think it’s Taylor Swift’s “Breathe.” That’s how rare the soft acoustic tinge of “I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)” is in The 1975’s discography. Once I get past my initial confusion, though, I’m greeted with one of my favorite tracks in the band’s entire discography. The determined vulnerability of Healy’s voice cuts through thrumming guitar strums and soaring strings, crescendoing into that titular chorus. It’s such a distinct, universal sentiment; that unshakeable sense of incompleteness and imperfection in the face of a future you thought would make you happy. Healy teeters on the cliff of suicidal ideation, adding in that hasty “sometimes” at the end of an irreversible statement in a manner that perfectly captures the indecisive discontent of the internet age. The instrumental singularity of the song—see: its 40-second string refrain conclusion—as well as its incisive lyricism and lingering length, make it a standout in the band’s discography. —MW

14. “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
I love a 1975 song where Matty Healy’s sort of yelling at you the whole time—not to mention one featuring the backing vocals of his then-flame FKA Twigs. I’d like to imagine he’s singing it about her, as she intones in the background in her floaty soprano. The song is pure indie-pop magic, replete with retro synths and looping drums both punctuated by Healy’s own punchy vocals. It’s gorgeously produced, full of light and color, with a bevy of distinctive instrumentality like a colorful saxophone and flugelhorn combo. Healy called it a “Frankenstein song,” since it took so much technical magic to create. “Maybe I would like you better if you took off your clothes” is an iconic line from the group, especially considering that Healy is the one on its receiving end. Moreover, it’s just a great story for the album—and it’s told with a clarity and panache that sucks you right into Healy’s horny online universe. —MW

13. “About You” (Being Funny In a Foreign Language, 2022)
“About You” caused an online uproar when it was released last year, and for good reason. The drama of the song’s instrumentation and the depth of its lyricism are both minimalistic compared to the band’s usual tendencies. The song is completely and utterly serious, with no jabs or jokes, and the backing tracks are low and fluid. Healy imagines it as a continuation of “Robbers,” a sweetly nostalgic ode to an erstwhile lover told in intense, gothic brushstrokes. But “About You” has a pressing urgency to it, too. It’s one of those songs that perfectly spells out all the things you never had the guts to say. It’s impossible not to think of someone specific as you listen to it; it’s just that good. At the same time, it’s clearly more sonically mature than “Robbers.” The 1975 no longer need to throw a million sounds at you per minute; they’ve perfected their sound enough that a softer, more emotional piece can carry the same immovable force as their early maximalism. Add in that stunning refrain from Carly Holt, guitarist Adam Hann’s wife, and it’s a perfectly duetic portrayal of a tangent-lined love. —MW

12. “Heart Out” (The 1975, 2013)
Few songs from The 1975 showcased what the band would later become better than “Heart Out,” a perfect encapsulation of electro-pop and staccato rhythm. It’s one of Healy’s funnest vocal performances, too, as he fully embraces that very English, very drawling post-punk type of bravado. The world he crafts on the song is pretty great, as well, as he examines how infatuation morphs with age and distance. “‘Cause I remember when I found you, much younger than you are now,” Healy sings. “And once we started having friends ‘round, you created a television of your mouth.” “Heart Out” is not the seminal track from the debut, but it should be—and would be, if “Robbers” hadn’t transformed into an instrumental piece of the band’s live sets. In another world, “Heart Out” got more mainstream attention than “Sex,” “Girls” and “Chocolate.” But, luckily, in this world, we got that saxophone solo from John Waugh—one of the best horn sections from a pop song in the last decade, no doubt. —MM

11. “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
This gospel-inspired tune from A Brief Inquiry is a third-person dramatization of Healy’s own issues with heroin addiction, a troubling and fruitful artistic well for the controversial artist. Real choir vocals and backing harmonies from Japanese House fuse a heartachey love song with a thinly-veiled take on addiction. The song glimmers with guitar riffs and rollicking vocals, making it an energetic highlight of the often-subdued A Brief Inquiry. It’s a triumph in more ways than one: Healy wouldn’t write a song about his addiction until he felt like he’d achieved real sobriety. It’s sort of sweet, then, in a way, which helps make its sugary pop undertones less contradictory. The guitars are sky-high and rocketing, the chorus as hooky as can be. It’s a quintessentially representative song for the band, and its bigger victory message adds a powerful punch. —MW

10. “Sincerity Is Scary” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
Another culture-check on a fundamentally reflective album, “Sincerity Is Scary” has a bluesy, contemplative vibe to it. It’s got a rap-like rhythm to its verses and a hymnal glint to its chorus. The track takes much from traditionally Black musical stylings, even making use of the London Community Gospel Choir, but its messaging is consistent with the ethos of the band. The tune is a postmodern critique on the walls of sarcasm which protect and isolate members of modern society, couched in thoughtful horn riffs and groovy drums. “And why would you believe you could control how you’re perceived, when, at your best, you’re intermediately versed in your own feelings?” Healy jabs in one of the best cultural critiques on the entire album. Part of what makes this single off A Brief Inquiry so special, though, is its eventual hypocrisy. Right at the end of his lament, Healy starts jousting at his lover, pulling back in the song’s ultimate line: “Nah, I’m just messing.” With that twist-end refrain, we see our protagonist go full Vader in a totally cinematic styling—to great effect. —MW

9. “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
Phoebe Bridgers and Matty Healy are a match made in a Dr. Martens-clad heaven. It’s one of just a handful of songs in The 1975’s discography that belines into a sparse, quiet folk territory—with two voices and a single guitar refrain carrying the majority of the melody. Healy also rarely cedes his songs to other artists as full-on duets, making this number a singular one. The tune veers far more into Bridgers’s normal sonic territory, and it’s fascinating to watch Healy adapt to match her stylings. As its title suggests, the song is a meditation on the American ideological landscape, touching on the contradictions between religiosity and sexual fluidity. In 2005, where the song’s situated, widespread anti-LGBT opposition coursed through the U.S. like a cancer—even as the California Legislature passed the first American bill to legalize same-sex marriage without judicial prompting. Healy’s and Bridgers’s commentary on the phenomenon comes in the form of two paralleled same-sex infatuations, sarcastically cut off in their sighing prime by biblical platitudes. It’s prescient and emotive, a thematic triumph on a thoughtful album. Plus, it’s just gorgeous. —MW

8. “Love Me” (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, 2016)
The lead single from I like it when you sleep, “Love Me” begins like a glitchy, unkempt 1980s synth-pop song—all before blending into a rough-around-the-edges, guitar-centric blend that sounds like David Bowie’s “Fame.” In fact, the track makes multiple references to Bowie’s 1980 record Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). But, beyond that on-the-nose homage, Healy adopts an in-your-face, jagged bravado that has come to define the band’s most outrageous, sharpest and loudest rock tracks. It’s a great second side to him, one that juxtaposes greatly with the lush, nurturing persona he embellishes in the slower 1975 songs. Lyrically, it’s a fun, energetic hodge-podge of Healy-isms. “You’ve been reading about yourself on a plane, fame for a change,” he sings. “Caught up in fashion, Karcrashian panache and a bag of bash for passion. You’ve got a beautiful face but got nothing to say.” To have this be your first offering after your debut, there was no doubt that The 1975 were about to take over the world. —MM

7. “People” (Notes On a Conditional Form, 2020)
“People” is one of The 1975’s more unique songs. It’s essentially a punk track, and fans have had mixed feelings about it for that reason—but the song remains an essential part of the band’s evolution. It fits in with the American critique that characterizes Notes On a Conditional Form, but with the more vitriolic tinge Healy usually reserves for himself and his hookups. His vocals are screamy and hardly recognizable, as are the scorching metal guitars which accompany him. It’s in the lyricism that the song gets really special, though: “We are appalling and we need to stop just watching shit in bed,” he screeches with a life-or-death tone rarely expressed with sincerity in the band’s corpus. The song is not for casual fans, nor for the faint of heart, but it was a single from the album for a reason: It’s a waving flag of their sonic exploration, and a throbbing success at that. —MW

6. “She’s American” (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, 2016)
I think, in retrospect, an argument can be made that I like it when you sleep is The 1975’s best album. While A Brief Inquiry is, perhaps, their most ambitious, there is something inherently cheeky and special about their sophomore record—especially since every good song on it is great. “She’s American” is not just one of the better songs off of the album, but it’s one of their funniest in their 20-year career altogether. As an American co-writing this list, all of Healy’s roasts are funny and no doubt accurate. “If she likes it ‘cause we just don’t eat and we’re so intelligent, she’s American,” he sings. “If she says I’ve gotta fix my teeth, then she’s so American.” Futuristic synths and a funk guitar come aplenty, but not in ways that feel indebted to retro bygones. Part of the band’s allure is that they sound so damn futuristic at times without careening into robotic, manufactured instrumentals. “She’s American” may be tongue-in-cheek lyrically, but it’s one of The 1975’s cleanest constructions. —MM

5. “Happiness” (Being Funny In a Foreign Language, 2022)
The ultimate banger from Being Funny In a Foreign Language, “Happiness” is a delight of pure-1980s synth-funk nostalgia—but done up with the band’s futuristic top-coat. Lyrically, it’s Healy at his happiest, as he celebrates how a lover has shown him how to have a good, healthy romance. He’s self-aware, fearful that he might mess up the momentum, all while finally growing up and giving his heart to someone else (or feeling like he might never be able to again, depending on your own reading). “I’d go too far just to have you near,” Healy sings. “In my soul, I’ve got this feeling I didn’t know until I seen ya.” For all of the great work The 1975 do when they sing about unrequited love and self-destruction, a track like “Happiness” is a sign of growth that only the best bands are willing to embrace fully. Just as Being Funny In a Foreign Language sports some of the most mature 1975 cuts, “Happiness” is an upbeat, undeniable pastoral of a man in search of a forever—which can be a daunting and exhausting task, until you find that one person who can show you true love. —MM

4. “Robbers” (The 1975, 2013)
Maybe the most recognizable track in the band’s entire catalog, “Robbers” has lived many lives in many different shapes since its initial release 10 years ago. It’s one of Healy’s all-time best lyrical showings, as he waxes poetic on a beautiful woman who leads an ill-fated heist. He was inspired by Patricia Arquette’s character in True Romance, but, in typical Matty Healy fashion, you can read between the lines and sense that he’s examining the downfall of a toxic relationship, too. “She had a face straight out a magazine” later becomes “Now everybody’s dead,” and Adam Hann’s slick, crying guitar melody cuts through the tension so deftly. For years, he’s made the live performances of “Robbers” into theatrical intimacy, kissing an audience member on-stage during the song’s breakdown—and videos of the infamous snogging even caught virality on TikTok during their recent Being Funny In a Foreign Language tour. A decade later and the “You look so cool” outro is still tops. “Robbers” is the band’s third most-performed song for a reason. It is, and always will be, an enchanting, emotional and career-defining ballad draped in anthemic clothing. —MM

3. “Looking For Somebody (To Love)” (Being Funny In a Foreign Language, 2022)
The 1975’s ability to discuss incredibly dark subject matter in sparkly synth-pop will forever amaze me. The song touches on the theme of school shootings and the crisis of modern masculinity—done up in ‘80s rhythms and joyous horns, a shivering dissonance which itself draws attention to the absurdity of the situation. “Looking For Somebody (To Love)” is the epitome of this long-standing philosophy, Healy’s reckoning with the irreconcilable by lathering it in catchy hooks and thinly-veiled metaphors. Just when lyrics like “A supreme gentleman with a gun in his hand looking for somebody to love” draw shivers down your spine, they’re challenged by meditations like “Are the words of a young man already damned,” a turn which establishes the blame squarely in society’s lap. At the same time, Bleachers-esque stylistics and a clap-your-hands refrain twist the song in knots around itself, hiding its meaning in plain sight and punching you in the gut with each unraveling measure. —MW

2. “Love It If We Made It” (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)
God, what an intro. As opposed to our #1 spot holder, “Love It If We Made It” revels in its own excess, glimmering in its sleek production and raw vocals. It’s these moments where you remember why Healy’s the frontman of the band—not only is his voice far more capacious than he always lets on, but the emotion he brings to his lyrics is unparalleled. The second single on A Brief Inquiry is both intensely personal and societally poignant, exposing Healy’s dystopian anxieties and the cracks in our social fabric which seem to grow by the hour. This song is the genesis of the ever-iconic Trumpian quote, “Thank you, Kanye, very cool,” an insanely satisfying reification of their third album title. Healy shouts in a stream-of-consciousness, as though he can’t contain his qualms anymore, and you just have to believe every word he screeches. It’s a quintessentially hopeful piece, as its title suggests, but it’s gorgeously weighed down by its own referential heaviness. “Love It If We Made It” is like a musical exorcism, an airing out of all that’s bad in the hopes of lightening the load. I’m not sure about Healy’s POV here, but listening to the track always gives me a spring in my step. —MW

1. “Somebody Else” (I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, 2016)
The 1975 have five really great records, and I always feel reluctant to say that a song from any band’s second album is their all-time best. But there really is something so perfect about “Somebody Else,” the third single from I like it when you sleep. Healy wrote the lyrics in the back of an LA taxi cab, centering the aftershocks of a break-up in conversation with jealousy, guilt and longing. None of these themes are particularly untapped in The 1975’s catalog, but “Somebody Else” is the band and Healy at their most grief-struck and bitter. It’s one of the best synth-pop songs of this millennium, which says a lot, given that we ranked A Brief Inquiry as one of the best synth-pop albums of all-time. But “Somebody Else” taps into the very human conversations about the fluidity of desire—how we often do not want to continue being in love with our exes, but it’s damn-near impossible to consider them moving on to better partners. “I don’t want your body, but I hate to think about you with somebody else,” Healy sings, poignantly.

Both cathartic and constructionally masterful, the sonics of “Somebody Else” likely opened the door for what A Brief Inquiry would become two years later. Whenever I look at what makes The 1975 such a good band, I look to this track specifically. It sold 2,000,000 units in the US alone, earning a 2x platinum status and becoming forever etched into pop’s echelons. I’d argue it’s not just the greatest 1975 song, but one of the greatest songs of the last 25 years altogether. The band has come close to replicating this perfection many times in the seven years since its release, but no tracks have truly hit the mark as deftly and beautifully. That’s not a knock against the new stuff, but more so a championing of what singularity has come to define “Somebody Else.” —MM

Check out where A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships ranked on our Greatest Synth-Pop Albums of All Time list, and listen to a playlist of these 30 tracks below.


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