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The 11 best songs by The 1975

Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? Here are our favourite 11 songs from The 1975, ranked.

Channelling echoes of rock’s bad boy past through a sensitive modern mindset (with a good dose of irony all round), The 1975 continue to shake up the world of indie pop. Formed while still at school and led by Matty Healy, the band are drawn to the neon glare of the 80s while looking equally comfortable crafting hushed atmospheric ballads or amping things up for stadium stages.

With a massive new tour now announced for next February, we sift through the Manchester band’s five albums to rank the 11 best 1975 songs.

11. Frail State Of Mind

(Notes On A Conditional Form, 2020)

Not your typical 1975 track, but the fluttering pop quality in Healy’s voice perfectly suits the garage-style beat, with that repeated vocal line recalling the likes of Caribou or Bonobo. The distant trumpet that can be heard is thanks to the late Roy Hargrove of Soulquarians who, at the height of neo-soul and hip hop, worked with the likes of D’Angelo and ?uestlove.

10. When We Are Together

(Being Funny In A Foreign Language, 2022)

A gorgeous acoustic ballad that almost suggests Damien Rice‘s ‘Cannonball’ coming up against Phoebe Bridgers or Pinegrove, both of whom who’ve clearly become big influences on the band in recent years. Recorded and set in New York (“She said, ‘Central Park is Sea World for trees'”), the wistful and delicate track reflects on moments that stay with you from previous relationships, like the smell of a scented candle that Healy can’t get out of his bag.

9. Looking For Somebody (To Love)

(Being Funny In A Foreign Language, 2022)

Kicking things off with an jittery ‘All My Friends’-style intro, ‘Looking For Somebody (To Love)’ from their latest full-length is The 1975 at their most Springsteen, with its jubilant guitars, pacey, motorik beat, and hearty saxophones. But beneath its dancing-with-friends façade looms a much darker and more ominous story.

8. She’s American

(I like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, 2016)

Another slice of jubilant 80s synth pop, ‘She’s American’ is an ode to transatlantic love by pitting cultural cliches against each other: “If she says I’ve got to fix my teeth/ Then she’s so American.” One of their glossiest tracks to date, it’s all about the rapid, palm-muted guitar strums in the verses.

7. Part Of The Band

(Being Funny In A Foreign Language, 2022)

A collaboration with Jack Antonoff and Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner, ‘Part Of The Band’ was the first taste of the band’s fifth record, Being Funny In A Foreign Language. With its lack of a discernible refrain, the track was an interesting choice as a lead single. Far from the shiny, 80s pizazz of previous releases, here the song is lead by the interplay of strings, heartbeat rhythms, crisp drums, acoustic guitars and intermittent flutters of horns.

6. Paris

(The 1975, 2013)

Through gently floating dry ice – with shadows of drug use, cheating and worse threatening to ruin the happy-go-lucky instrumentals – the city of love emerges to Healy like the Eiffel Tower on a misty night.

5. 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… (shortened here because, well, it’s a bit of a mouthful) is a Prince-esque funk-pop banger that pokes fun at pop’s narcissism: “Ohh! Well, just keep looking!/ Looking! Looking! Looking!”. It’s fun but chaotic, as Healy begins to sharpen his wits (“Caught up in fashion, Karcrashian panache”) and explore the 80s aesthetics that would soon become a staple for the band.

4. Sincerity Is Scary

(A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)

On this jazzy, hip hop-inspired jam, Healy takes aim at himself, the persona he’s become known for and the insecurities he’s accumulated as a result: “And irony’s okay, I suppose/ Culture is to blame/ You try and mask your pain in the most postmodern way”. It might be the breeze of those floaty horns and off-kilter beat, but it feels like a breath of fresh air.

3. I Always Wanna Die (Sometimes)

(A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)

What starts off as a bit of 90s-esque pop rock soon reveals grander ambitions as it soars into an elegant Britpop classic with a cinematic quality that gets the goosebumps going. The strings from legendary arranger and composer David Campbell are spectacular and do justice to the sombre and confessional tone at its heart.

2. Somebody Else

(I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, 2016)

‘Somebody Else’ is a shimmering and sensual rejection – and ultimately acceptance – of a recent ex partner moving on and meeting someone else. Lacking the witty cultural references of his usual writing style, Healy’s direct aim on this bouncy synthwave hit really targets the acute, relatable pang.

1. Love It If We Made It

(A Brief Enquiry Into Online Relationships, 2018)

A fragmented patchwork of news clips, quotes and cultural cues that snapshots the late 2010s like a strobe flash, ‘Love It If We Made It’ is delivered with the plosive punch of a Nerf gun to the face. Healy’s voice is on the cusp of shouting the whole time, adding to what feels like anxiety energy driving steadily to the resolution of the chorus, a blast of optimism that rounds the whole thing off.

The 1975 start their 2023 UK arena tour on 8 February. Find tickets here