Like most artists, English indie-rock band The 1975 has been cooling it on self-promotion recently in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, providing entertainment when needed, but bringing proper attention to the situation and advocating for those on the front lines. The release of their fourth studio album “Notes on a Conditional Form,” has been delayed again, with the new date set for May 22, as has the North American leg of their headline tour, but both for good cause.
“It is with great regret that we have to reschedule The 1975’s upcoming North American headline tour for the health and safety of our fans and crew,” the band’s post on social media announced. Fans’ tickets will still be honored for the new dates, whenever they may be. “We are in the process of scheduling the new shows and will be announcing as soon as possible.”
In the meantime, they continue with releasing singles off of the second “Music for Cars” album cycle, the first being “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.” In fashion with the band’s other colorfully long and seemingly obscure titled songs, “Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America” has a nostalgic, melancholic sound that doesn’t sound like their previous hits, yet seems like a perfectly understandable evolution of their music over the years. The song brings together the social criticism and sometimes somber melodies of their third album and the existential nostalgia of 2016’s “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” for an acoustic ballad about the struggle of religion.
“I’m in love with Jesus Christ,” lead singer Matty Healy declares in the first lines, said with an almost sardonic and sickly sweet tune that one can immediately tell it is in disenchantment.
Healy’s atheism, which has been mentioned in their songs before, is explored in the most vulnerable and disheartening way in this single. Lyrics like “I’m in love with a boy I know, but that’s a feeling I can never show” discuss religion’s handling of issues like homosexuality, which the song is at-odds. It’s a song of frustration, the haunting, acoustic sound reminiscent of an anti-revelation and disillusionment; religion doesn’t offer Healy the same heart it promises.
American indie-rock singer Phoebe Bridgers, who was set to open for The 1975’s European shows, brings her bittersweet, clean sound to perfectly round out the song’s quiet emotion. When she enters in the second verse, her voice fills out the song and brings Bridgers’ own personal wistfulness. Melded with Healy in the chorus, singing “Searching for planes in the sea, and that’s irony,” their social criticism doesn’t seem dark, just sad.
“Jesus Christ” is sad, yet doesn’t necessarily make you emotional, like some of their other ballads. Instead, the song feels insightful with just the right tinge of melancholy. You can play it on a rainy day while looking out the window, but it won’t make you feel more depressed, just in your feelings, and that’s okay. I don’t know if it’s the current situation or just how good the song is, but I’ve already listened to it too many times to count.
If listening to the song got you down, just queue up the band’s prior released singles, “Me and You Together Song” and “The Birthday Party.” With the announcement of the album’s delay, the band’s reveal of the 22-track lineup and hope for further singles is enough to tide fans over for now. If not, have a listen to the band’s “lockdown” playlist, “At about 6-7,” on Spotify.
Rating: 4.5/5 for the wonderful addition of Phoebe Bridgers
Hollie Lao is a staff writer and the social media manager for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.