Signs that the world is healing: Fall weather is soon to be underway, “House of the Dragon” was renewed for a second season and The 1975 is coming back with a new album in October. While one is not necessarily better than the other, for stans of Matty Healy’s bright vocals, the latter news surely brews particular excitement.
Following the release of “Part Of The Band” in July — the first of three singles to come out prior to the full album — the group announced the title of their forthcoming work in an Instagram post. “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” continues The 1975’s pattern of producing long and cryptic album titles (but certainly not as extensively long as “I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It”).
Their second single, “Happiness”, came out in early August, while their third single, “I’m In Love With You,” was released this past Thursday. Matched with a catchy guitar riff, the song introduces a groovy, pop-funk beat, as its lyrics depict the joyfully nervous ruminations of coming clean about one’s romantic feelings. The accompanying music video was released the same day, a cinematic sequel — or prequel, depending on one’s interpretation — to the group’s 2016 music video for “A Change Of Heart.”
Inspired by the silent film aesthetic, the video follows a black-and-white format (as did its predecessor) and acts as a continuation of the story of two protagonists — one man (Healy), one woman (Katie Collins), both dressed in clown makeup. Healy plays the male role fairly well, almost mimicking the exaggerated movements carried out by Charlie Chaplin’s iconic “Tramp” persona. Another shared trait between the two videos is the usage of dance numbers, all of which were choreographed by Collins. The routines are fairly energetic and bouncy, a style similar to that of Gene Kelly.
Clown lovers and Hollywood-infused tributes, topped off with a cameo from Phoebe Bridgers — is there a greater way to illustrate a song?
Judging from the releases so far, there’s a slight chance that the band may be coming back to their self-titled, Tumblr era roots. I said the same thing when reviewing “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” back in 2020, and ended up being heavily disappointed when “Notes On A Conditional Form” came out. At this point, I’m convinced that no album following “ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI” can be surpassed in greatness. However, being aware of the difficulty of capturing the teenage zeitgeist of the early 2010s, I’m just grateful that some of the band’s early sound is showing through.
With over a month to go until the release of their new album, there’s no saying how many more singles The 1975 will release before then. “Being Funny In A Foreign Language” is set to have 11 tracks, and comes out Friday, Oct. 14. Perhaps many have already established what they consider to be the group’s magnum opus, but it would only be fair to give their upcoming work a shot. Based on their latest single, it seems promising enough.