After the band’s previous album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, it is no surprise that The 1975 enjoys making music that speaks on politics, social media and the state of our world today. Their hit song “Love It If We Made It,” released in 2018, was deemed one of the best songs of the year by Pitchfork, not because of the song’s catchy riff but the song’s lyrics that challenged both politics and culture.
The indie band announced that they would be releasing a fourth album titled Notes On a Conditional Form. By the title, fans can already know to expect yet another fantastic album full of songs with lyrics that speak out on otherwise controversial topics.
On August 22, The 1975 released the second single from Notes On a Conditional Form: an exhilarating song by the name of “People” that stresses just how important it is to “stop f****ing with the kids.” The music video, released on the same day, features the band in a heavily rock-inspired scene. Lead singer, Matt Healy, sports eyeshadow and straight hair while he aggressively headbangs in front of the camera while instrumentalists George Daniel, Adam Hann and Ross MacDonald rock on behind him.
The song begins by essentially taking a look at today’s generation. “It’s Monday morning… I know it feels pointless and you don’t have any money,” sings Healy in the first verse. Today, our society is full of numerous people who take to social media each and every week to complain about their lives. The band, however, chooses to zero in on Mondays in particular and how hard it is for so many people to wake up and leave their homes to work at a job where they barely make any money.
The 1975 acknowledges how pointless this routine is, ultimately resonating with millions of people around the world. The song goes on to sing “…my generation wanna f*** Barack Obama, living in a sauna with legal marijuana.” Fundamentally, Healy is referring to the fact that today’s generation amuses themselves with jokes about the former United States President while simultaneously ignoring global warming and choosing to be content with the fact that marijuana is now legal in countless states.
By the pre-chorus, the band takes a hit at how easy life has become in terms of the fact that it is now pretty much unnecessary to leave your house. The lyrics “girls, food, gear, I don’t like going outside, so bring me everything here” relates to the fact that in today’s society, we can have literally anything we want brought to our house. With services like Amazon Prime, Uber Eats and many, many more, “People” focuses on how our society has been living, content on rarely needing to leave the comfort of their homes.
By the chorus, The 1975 begins to demand that the youth of our society be left alone by chanting over and over again, “People like people, they want alive people, the young surprise people.” By the lyrics, “they want alive people,” it may be inferred that “People” is saying that our generation has either become too comfortable or they are being much too stifled by the generations before them, fundamentally turning the people into zombies of some sort who just live through the motions.
Healy goes on to say that “the young surprise people,” ultimately inferring that he believes that the young deserve a chance because, you never know, they could surprise you. The final line of the chorus, “stop f***ing with the kids,” relates back to the idea of people being stifled by the generations that came before them, inferring that their choices and decisions are ultimately messing with the kids who will one day become our future.
The second verse is much clearer in terms of meaning as Healy shouts, “wake up, wake up, wake up…we need to stop just watching shit in bed,” referring to the streaming services that our generation today relies so heavily on. With services such as Netflix and Hulu among many more, the kids of our society today spend countless hours on end relaxing in bed, glued to their computer screens as though they’re trying to distract themselves from the real things happening in the world. The song goes on to warn these people, however, that “the economy’s a goner.”
“People” acts as a wake-up call to our generation to essentially wake up and look around at what’s truly happening in the world. It’s time for us to ditch the comfort we’ve gotten so used to (e.g. services that bring everything we could possibly want straight to our doorsteps, TV shows that distract us from the real world) and realize what will soon be our future if we don’t take a stand to do something about it.
Haven’t yet watched The 1975’s new music video for “People?” Watch it here now.
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