Nearly a week ahead of the release of their third studio album, indie pop group The 1975 has produced yet another intricately considered music video. The “Sincerity is Scary” video gives fans a fuller idea behind the foundations of their newest era. The new album, set for release on November 30th, titled, “A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships” is looking to explore the ways that modern young adults navigate the world today.
The 1975 are known for their continually artistic pursuits; both of their previous albums have incorporated boundary-pushing ways of thinking with lyrics, symbols and metaphors that reflect that. Their music videos have always been an extension of their stories and themes within each individual album, though many of these themes link together. There are a number of phrases such as “oh what a shame” that appear in a number of their songs, including “Sincerity is Scary,” suggesting the idea that much of their music can be viewed as a continuum of a personal dialogue. As the third music video released prior to the album, “Sincerity is Scary” takes a real turn from what could be considered something traditionally like The 1975. In fact, the audience is transported into what feels like a whole other world.
Lead singer Matty Healy wakes up in a stark white room. There is a focus on a difficult-to-discern photograph, which according to NME is “called ‘I Like America And America Likes Me.’ In 1974, Joseph Beuys”. As Matty walks outside the number on the building is 1975. There are no coincidences in any of those choices. As the video continues, the symbols become more cohesive with the main premise of the song and album.
“[The song] is about me trying to denounce all of that postmodern fear of like being real, you know? Like irony first, irony first. Make sure you’re ironic because then you can’t be judged on being a person. And I’ve become so aware of the shtick that exists within my kind of lyrical narrative as well.” – Matty Healy
As Healy makes his way through the neighbourhood streets, he does not refrain from acting sincerely. He plays with children, hands out flowers and even engages in a “Singing in the Rain”-esque dance sequence. It is interesting to note that throughout the video, there isn’t a cell phone in sight– in fact, Healy is the only character, connected to any sort of device at all. Not to mention his unusual hat, which is vaguely reminiscent of animal ears of some sort.
Towards the end of the video, two major motifs intertwine. The movie theatre with the phrase “The Poetry is in the Streets” across the top is also featured in the Robbers video. This quote (in full form being “the poetry is in the streets in full living colour”) is a personal favourite of the band’s and has been for some time. This symbol is then extended through the use of the small girl, dressed as a clown. The band’s previous album contained the song “A Change of Heart,” in this music video, Healy himself is a clown. This also reappears at the beginning of the “Somebody Else” video. As Healy pours water onto the girl and illuminates her in real colour, the metaphor seems to develop.
Once more, The 1975 raise the bar, for creativity amongst so many other groups, and certainly leave their fans in much anticipation of their upcoming album.
Featured Image via NME