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Earlier this week, The 1975 announced that its next album, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, will be released November 30. Because this is The 1975 we're talking about, the 15-track album will include one song called "The 1975" (the band's second track of that name, by the way) and a handful of tracks with vaguely-absurd, lengthy titles ("The Man Who Married A Robot / Love Theme" and "I Always Wanna Die [Sometimes]," for example).
Judging from the album's first few singles, Brief Inquiry promises to be an intriguing set of songs: "Give Yourself A Try" is quirky, twitchy self-help pop; "Love It If We Made It" is a mid-tempo, politically-driven cut where singer Matty Healy's delivery sounds more desperate than ever; "TooTimeTooTimeTooTime," meanwhile, is danceable, airy electro-pop about, among other things, the perils of texting.
As the album title might suggest, the songs are united by their attention to how we relate to each other in a time of DMs and selfies; read receipts and fake news; hashtagged social movements and the meme economy. The band's latest single, "Sincerity is Scary," takes this on, too.
Maybe being honest freaks Matty Healy out, but here, he dives headfirst into the kind of frequently deployed earnestness that positions him as a try-hard worth rooting for. Maybe a lyric like, "I'm sure that you're gonna say that that was sexist" feels like a cringe-worthy deflection — but then "why would you believe you could control how you're perceived / when at you're best you're intermediately versed in your own feelings" feels like a genuine moment of thoughtful reflection on social media surveillance, self-knowledge and the apparent communication breakdown this song exists within.
The chorus of voices on the song's refrain recalls some of the more touching moments on the band's last album, I like it when you sleep..., and the horns and synths that trickle in around, and eventually subsume, the track's steady drumbeat and piano riff make "Sincerity" the most exciting track of Brief Inquiry's releases so far.
If all that isn't enough to ponder, the band will also be releasing another album in 2019; Healy has said on Twitter that it will be called Notes On A Conditional Form.