Hailing from Manchester, U.K., the 1975 managed to combine the dark and youthful themes of sex, love, and fear with ethereal alt-rock music. The four-piece met at school in 2002, although lead singer and guitarist Matt Healy was born in London and drummer George Daniel was born across the North Sea in Brussels. The rest of the lineup comprised Adam Hann on guitar and bassist Ross MacDonald. The first incarnation of the band began by covering punk songs at gigs arranged for underage youths -- which would quickly descend into chaos. Influenced by a range of styles, from Michael Jackson, Motown, and the Rolling Stones to the soundscapes of Brian Eno, Boards of Canada, and Sigur Rós, they soon began to apply their pop-influenced hooks and guitar melodies to the lush ambient backdrops they created.
In 2012, they released their first EP, Facedown, on U.K. indie label Dirty Hit, and soon after supported Little Comets on their nationwide tour. The lead track from the debut EP, "The City," was played on Huw Stephens' BBC Radio 1 show, and the quartet's energetic live performances endeared them to crowds, while their music began to sweep across music blogs. Toward the end of 2012 they released a second EP, entitled Sex, and the title track was played by influential BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. The following year, a third EP appeared, Music for Cars, spawning the U.K. Top 20 single "Chocolate." Their popularity continued to rise and they went on to play shows across the U.K., and were also invited to play at industry showcase SXSW in conjunction with a U.S. tour.
Their self-titled debut -- recorded with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, Foals) -- was released in 2013. A number one album in the U.K., The 1975 also earned the band attention in the States, where it reached number 28 on the Billboard 200. In 2016, the 1975 returned with their sophomore full-length album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. Featuring the singles "Love Me" and "The Sound," it found the band moving toward a more '80s adult contemporary pop- and R&B-influenced sound. The album debuted at number one in the U.K. and U.S. and was shortlisted for the esteemed Mercury Prize. In February 2017, the 1975 released a cover of Sade's "By Your Side" to benefit the U.K. charity group War Child. ~ Scott Kerr