Ranking songs by The 1975


From meeting at Wilmslow High School near Manchester, England to becoming one of the biggest breakthrough bands Britain has seen, The 1975 is a pop-rock band consisting of lead vocalist, producer, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist Matty Healy, lead guitarist Adam Hann, bassist Ross MacDonald, and drummer/producer George Daniel.

The 1975 has four albums along with their EP, Facedown. This is solely my opinion of the top 20 songs by my favorite band and how I interpret them.

#20 – Undo

While the true meaning behind “Undo,” from their EP Facedown isn’t specified by the band, I believe the song is about frontman Healy having feelings for a girl while in another relationship. What makes this song so fascinating to me is the nostalgia that the rhythm and harmony bring me while I’m listening. The guitar riff Hann repeats along with MacDonald’s mellow bass-playing creates an enchanting feel throughout the song. 

Favorite lyric: “Twist around the lounge/Sun drowns the house”

#19 – The Birthday Party

To me, “The Birthday Party” is about the generational attachment we have to our online lives, with the internet robbing us of our time to spend in the real world. The song is a mesmerizing yet oddly comforting folk/country ballad with a smooth saxophone solo at the end of the song. 

Favorite lyric: “I depend on my friends to stay clean/As sad as it seems”

#18 – Robbers

Probably one of their most popular songs, “Robbers,” to me is without a doubt about a toxic relationship. As much as the listener can miss a certain person and the memories they shared, it will never be the same way it used to be. This song gives me nostalgia for things I have never experienced, and I love the way the guitar perfectly reflects the emotion behind this song.

Favorite lyric: “I’ll give you one more time/We’ll give you one more fight/Said one more line/Will I know you?”

#17 – Frail State Of Mind

From their fourth album, Notes On A Conditional Form, “Frail State Of Mind” is composed of a variety of synths, ambient sounds, and a constant drumbeat. I view this song as frontman Healy explaining his struggle with social anxiety and overthinking, with my favorite lyric, “I’m sorry but I/I always get this way sometimes,” perfectly capturing the way those who are struggling constantly apologize and casually brush off their issues like it’s nothing. Dealing with this myself, this song holds a special place in my heart while being both personal and catchy to listeners.

#16 – Settle Down

“Settle Down,” the fifth single on their debut album, The 1975, brings out an ‘80s vibe with an amazing bass line and catchy guitar riff. To me, the lyrics are about trying to be with a person but others don’t approve.  The listener wants to express how they feel so bad but they are afraid they’ll get caught. This song makes me want to drive around town with the windows down and just enjoy the moment. 

Favorite lyric: “And you’re cold and I burn/I guess I’ll never learn/’Cause I stay another hour or two”

#15 – Guys

“Guys” is specifically about the band’s friendship and how far they’ve come since their beginning. It’s a really touching song, and the music video documents the moments they’ve had together. I’ve put it on this list just because of how raw it sounds and how there wasn’t a single moment where they’ve left each other throughout their entire career. Overall, it’s a very beautiful song.

Favorite lyric: “I don’t know why I’m surprised/’Cause we all shared one apartment/Man, they were the golden times/They were the best of my life”

#14 – Surrounded By Heads And Bodies

“Surrounded By Heads And Bodies” is dedicated to a woman named Angela, whom frontman Healy met while he was in rehab. The song title was inspired by Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, which was the book Healy read while he spent his time getting over his addiction. There are few lyrics in the song, but they are presented as a poem with a guitar melody that fills you with despair as the song goes on.

Favorite lyric: “Oh, we don’t speak/She stayed an extra week/Oh, I see her in my sleep”

#13 – Love Me

The first song on their second album, “Love Me” is about the band’s relationship with their fans and their newfound celebrity status. The song has an overall ‘80s vibe and contains an incredible bass line and a guitar solo that puts you in the best mood.

Favorite lyric: “I’m just with my friends online/And there’s things we’d like to change/Next thing you’ll find you’re reading ‘bout yourself/On a plane, fame, what a shame”

#12 – She Lays Down

Another melancholic song, “She Lays Down” is an acoustic song Healy wrote for his mother, who dealt with post-natal depression after the birth of the frontman. You can hear his pain, and there are a few brief moments at the end of the song where he has to take a second to actually finish it, causing it to be one of my favorites for how raw it feels. 

Favorite lyric: “And when I go to sleep it’s when she begins to weep/She’s appalled by not loving me at all”

#11 – You

I view “You” as another toxic relationship. As much as the person tries to make their partner upset or affect them, it doesn’t phase them the way it used to anymore, and they feel free. This song makes me want to hang out with a bunch of my friends and scream this song at the top of my lungs. If I had a movie about myself, this would definitely be the song for the credits, with Hann’s guitar playing giving the listener a rush of nostalgia. 

Favorite lyric – “And you’re alive/At least as far as I can tell you are/And so am I/You beat me down and then we’re back to my car”

#10 – Milk

After three minutes of silence on the track “You,” “Milk” abruptly begins and is a fan favorite among many fans of The 1975. The song is about a girl’s addiction to drugs and creates a ‘90s vibe that makes it hard to stop listening to. To me, if the song was a little longer it would’ve made it higher on the list.

Favorite lyric: “She started talking about missing him she was glistening/It won’t mend your heart if it’s only a couple of lines” 

#9 – Inside Your Mind 

The tenth track on their third album, the song “Inside Your Mind” is about feeling doubt in a relationship and never knowing what a partner may be feeling. As much as they can give reassurance, the feeling of having to know what goes on in their head still stays. The song includes a piano melody followed by a passionate guitar solo that really shows the desperation the song tries to convey.

Favorite lyric: “Marry me, I will wait until you’re fast asleep/Dreaming things I have the right to see”

#8 – Somebody Else

Another one of their most popular songs, “Somebody Else” begins with “heartbroken” keyboard notes followed by chopped vocals to convey the meaning of the song. “Somebody Else” is about the aftermath of a breakup and going through the various stages of jealousy, grief, and bitterness. What I love most about the song is how easy it is to hear the shifts in tone as it goes on, and I believe there is no song that conveys the feelings of getting over someone as good as “Somebody Else”.

Favorite lyric: “C’mon baby/This ain’t the last time that I’ll see your face/C’mon baby/You said you’d find someone to take my place”

#7 – Love It If We Made It

“Love It If We Made It” is very special to me since it was the first song I ever heard by the band. The song talks about a variety of topics, all leaving the listener in disbelief over how messed up our world has become. A pulsing keyboard creates the background throughout the whole song, along with a combination of Healy singing, talking, and rapping his pleas that we need to change. The second chorus erupts with a gospel choir and electric guitars, creating this sense of hope at the end of the song.

Favorite lyric: “And we can find out the information access all the applications/That are hardening positions based on miscommunication”

#6 – Paris

One of my favorite songs off of their second album, I believe “Paris” talks about two people trying to decide what they love more: their relationship or the drugs that come along with it. The lyric, “Oh, how I’d love to go to Paris again,” is them wishing they could go back to the way they were since Paris is considered the city of love. It has a dreamy synth-pop beat that overshadows the sorrowful lyrics of what their relationship could’ve been.

Favorite lyric: “Mr. Serotonin Man, lend me a gram/You call yourself a friend?”

#5 – Me & You Together Song

“Me & You Together Song” sounds exactly like it could be out of a movie from the 2000s. The song is just filled with the best vibes, although the story doesn’t appear to have a happy ending. The song is about being in love with someone for the longest time but they don’t feel the same. It has a very nostalgic sound, with dreamy guitar riffs and reminding old fans of The 1975 of what their music used to be like.

Favorite lyric: “And I said, ‘It’s cool,’ and ‘I was messing’ but it’s true/Yeah, it’s you, you’re the one that makes me feel right”

#4 – Antichrist

“Antichrist” is an amazing song. It’s about frontman Healy struggling with his religion and just wishing he had something to believe in. The way he can sing as low as he does in the first verse and then sing with so much emotion for the rest of the song really sticks with me. The band has never played it live before for this sole reason: they don’t believe they could convey as much emotion as they did when it was recorded.

Favorite lyric: “She said ‘How can I relate to somebody who doesn’t speak?’/I feel like I’m just treading water”

#3 – Sincerity Is Scary

“Sincerity Is Scary” is inspired by postmodernity and Healy’s own struggles with being sincere and vulnerable. This song means so much to me because it is extremely important to learn how to be true as a person and to others, which is a thing so many people struggle with today. We shouldn’t care about what others think of us as long as we are being ourselves. The lyrics are backed up by a hip-hop beat, with layers of trumpets, saxophones, low brass, piano riffs, and a gospel choir for the chorus.

Favorite lyric: “And why would you believe you could control how you’re perceived/When at your best, you’re intermediately versed in your own feelings?”

#2 – It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)

On the outside, “It’s Not Living” sounds like a love song about not wanting to be away from a partner, but it’s actually about struggling with drug addiction. It’s portrayed as a love song because many addicts romanticize the situation when it obviously isn’t amazing like it seems. The song gives off ‘80s vibes with funk guitar solos and synth beats.

Favorite lyric: “Collapse my veins, wearing beautiful shoes/It’s not living, if it’s not with you”

#1 – A Change Of Heart

This song is so interesting to me because of how it incorporates other lyrics from the band’s past songs. “You used to have a face straight out of a magazine/Now you just look like anyone,” is a part of a lyric from “Robbers,” where Healy sings, “She had a face straight out a magazine.” “The City,” another popular song by The 1975 not included on this list, uses the lyrics “Yeah, if you wanna find love then you know where the city is.” A Change Of Heart then replies, “I never found love in the city,” depicting the meaning of this song to be about falling out of love with someone. The sound is very melancholic, with a synth beat followed by an amazing keyboard riff to make the listener feel a sense of hopelessness of a breakup they aren’t even a part of.

Favorite lyric: “’You’re mad thinking you could ever save me’/’Not looking like that’”

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