“Picked up and spun by Radio 1 tastemakers Zane Lowe & Huw Stephens, this Manchester four-piece are incredibly promising…”
The 1975 | Facedown EP
After a couple of early songs dripped out onto the internet and having gone through few name changes, Manchester’s The 1975 arrive armed with their debut EP. Shrouding themselves in secrecy – our interview request was, after some thought, turned down – and posting not much other than some anonymous black and white photographs onto their minimal Tumblr page, this four piece understand that a listeners imagination can write a far better story than an eager to please press release ever could. And, you’d have to say it’s working, with lead single ‘The City’ being picked up and spun by Radio 1 tastemakers Zane Lowe & Huw Stephens.
You can see why they were drawn to it. An industrial, heavy beat underpins some throbbing bass and glitchy guitars before bursting into a glorious, repetitive chorus that will niggle away at your for days and weeks to come. It’s upbeat, it’s catchy and it’s extremely accomplished. That it stands out like a sore thumb compared to the EP’s three other, more reflective tracks, suggests a band with incredibly sharp pop instincts uneasy about throwing all their musical gold into their first release.
So while the opening title track acts as a gentle introduction to the EP, it is the final two songs that make sure it ends on a more intimate note. ‘Antichrist’ sees singer Matt Healy adopt a deeper, darker baritone in the track’s spacey, pared down opening segment before they group changes gear and build it’s close into an epic, M83-esque wall of noise and Healy’s howling vocals. The finale of ‘Woman’ however, strips away all of that bombast and features just Healy and an echoey, reverbed electric guitar. It highlights the emotional resonance of Healy’s voice in a way that the other three tracks can’t, and makes sure the EP bows out on a thoughtful whisper rather than screamed rhetoric.
Overall, the Facedown EP is a hugely promising, even interesting group of songs. While The 1975 have done well so far to remain mysterious, if they continue producing stuff of this calibre they may well not have a choice but to step out from the shadows.