The 1975 team up with environmental activist Greta Thunberg

Climate activist Greta Thunberg makes her pop culture debut

The 1975 is embracing the end of an era by tackling the climate change crisis on their latest record, Notes on a Conditional Form. 

The quartet from Manchester has kicked off all three of their previous records with the self-titled instrumental track, “The 1975.” Over the course of the first three albums the self-titled track did not change much, the sonic landscape developed with the sound of each album, but overall the simplicity of the lyrics remained the same… until now. 

The self-titled track on their latest LP, Notes on a Conditional Form, is sonically simple and lyrically not. The song features climate change activist Greta Thunberg speaking out about the climate crisis, a topic close to the band that had previously been explored in their 2018 released LP, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. 

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Saaf London

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Their song “Love It If We Made It” on A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, was an anthem to the broken systems in our society. In an interview with Genius, front-man Matty Healy described the song as a gem of hope amongst all of the rubble.

“I didn’t want to do a protest song. I wanted to be introspective but not so much like my diary,” he explained. 

That same theme is revisited in Notes on a Conditional Form. While the concepts of nostalgia and self-awareness are rooted deep within the lyrics across every song, the theme of revolution for the greater good is still very much alive throughout the record. The creative choice to transform their self-titled track “The 1975” from the typical dream-pop tonality and city like lyrics to a speech by climate change activist Greta Thunberg shows the seriousness they take in sharing with their fans the importance of proactively working to better the climate situation. 

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My mans @gretathunberg

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Healy spoke with Apple Music and explained that the band’s decision to use Greta’s speech was an easy one as they wanted her to formally live in pop culture and not just be an anecdote for somebody in the industry. 

“We were talking about how we were going to do that statement — the same statement that we always make musically — and we wanted it to be us at our most modern.”

In past interviews, Healy has described the first track on their albums as a way to check in. They wanted to start the conversation of the climate crisis right away, so they decided to transform that first track into a modern statement not only reflecting the way they felt, but also how their fans feel. 

“I think it sounds like how a lot of us feel. There’s a lot of hope in it, but it’s quite a sombre piece of music. It’s very 1975 in the way that it’s quite beautiful superficially but also quite sad, quite pretty, but also quite ominous.” 

The proceeds made from the self- titled track which was released as a single months before the album, were donated to the environmental group Extinction Rebellion.

The themes in their music continue to inspire their fans to utilize their voice for the greater good of everyone.

“Time to rebel,” Great Thunberg .