Never has anything sounded more distinctly ‘1975’ than this new single. Like a box of ancient treasures, ‘Frail State of Mind’ has whispers of everything from Music for Cars to A Brief Enquiry.
The first three releases from the upcoming album, Notes on a Conditional Form have clearly been carefully selected to tease the full range of what is to come. First we were met with Greta Thunberg’s poignant call to arms on their eponymous single, followed by the aggressive ‘People’; again something unexpected and intriguing.
Matty has often alluded to the inevitable disappointed “they’ve changed!” reaction of some fans as the band debuts a new sound. ‘Frail State of Mind’, as though breaking the fourth wall, appears to assure the listener that the essential 1975 DNA remains intact. Perhaps this is a subtle tongue and cheek nod to the predicted response.
The cool, clear ease and skippy beat, most clearly conjures memories of I Like It When You Sleep. ‘Frail’ is beautifully nostalgic and would not be out of place in any of their previous albums, yet it does not show stagnancy. Instead this shows the personal growth to look back in fondness. Or, if not in fondness, with an acceptance of the journey they have taken to get to where they are today.
The line “I haven’t told a lie in quite some time” seems to allude to this personal growth. Matty only recently came out with the news of his recent time spent in rehab. He’s talked on many occasions of the importance of transparency on this topic with his audience in order to create genuine music.
Despite this clear nod to the past, this song looks forward. Hopeful for the future and this new more honest relationship between fan and artist as well as, and more importantly, between the artist and himself.
Image: Matthew McNulty/Getty Images