The 1975’s ‘The Birthday Party’ explores temptation, cutting deeper than previous singles

The 1975 have been indulging their rapidly growing fanbase with a multitude of musical ideas from their anticipated album Notes on a Conditional Form. Their latest offering The Birthday Party is the fifth single, and it just might be the deepest cutting in the collection.

The Birthday Party from The 1975 dips its gentle toes into confessional country-twang with no conventional song structure or chorus.

With The 1975 completely switching their sound on every one of their new tracks, you could say this was another expected surprise. The screamed vocals on previous single People or the glistering production on Me & You Together Song are nowhere to be seen. Instead, Matty recalls some conversations amongst a birthday party and a growing temptation that’s fighting his plan to stay clean.

Lyrics like “now I’m clean it would seem, let’s go somewhere I’ll be seen,” remind you of Matty’s entrancing, vulnerable approach to songwriting that stems from a redeemable honesty. This has been especially potent since Matty kicked heroin, sometime around the creation of their third album.

The track opens with a lazy drum beat to match the free flowing, conversational nature of the vocal performance. It’s sung mostly in a baritone range, which is rare for a 1975 cut. The single concludes with a wrenching sax solo and some cute keys that leave you with a heaving melancholy.

The Birthday Party is a slow, strange experience that subtly captivates and attaches to your memories. It’s a testament to the development of Matty’s lovingly-piercing observations on the human condition.


The 1975’s upcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form is out April 24th. Pre-order your copy here.