You don’t just listen to the 1975 as a musician without picking up any sort of inspiration. A catchy vocal phrase here, a nice bit of guitar there – it may not always be obvious, but it’ll be there. A band that shows this a lot are Sleeptalk; the influences are clearly there, perhaps even more than your average band. There is a line though, between being influenced by something and copying. So is this album just a shameless copy, or something more? Let’s find out.
The most listened track on the album, ‘Strange Nights’, already provides evidence to the contrary. A catchy melody accompanies some great guitar and an incredible bassline to make a song that i’ll be listening to for a long time. The chorus is by far one of the best I’ve heard this year so far, and has a certain way of getting into your head. In the same way, ‘Indio, California’ has an absolutely infectious bassline and a soaring chorus. But they’re just the most played songs on the album, is there anything else to find below the surface.
The answer to that is a resounding yes. ‘February’ is a great tune, containing some of the best vocal work on the album, showing the band’s ability at creating something emotional yet atmospheric. The guitar throughout drives the song along, building up to a wonderful chorus. The ‘you’re not alone but I can’t control you/you’re not alone but I can’t change your mind’ refrain was something that I found myself humming for a whole day after I listened to the album. In complete contrast, something more atmospheric is ‘What A Shame’ which is full of swirling synths and little sound effects that make it almost a dreamlike experience.
So, to address the idea that this might be too similar to the 1975’s work, it’s simply not. The influences are there, sure, but whenever anyone takes influence from someone else, they will likely be compared. The important thing is that this album is completely a fantastic piece of work on it’s own. The ideas are all the bands own, and while they were influenced by the 1975, they were probably influenced by loads of other bands at the same time. Now let’s stop comparing bands and enjoy what a fantastic album this is.
Best song: February