On Edge: Anticipating – Notes on a Conditional Form

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As we all know, the ongoing pandemic has led to many albums and EPs from various artists being postponed. The 1975 are just one of many examples, but this album is the prime example to consider as it has been postponed more than once. Originally announced to be released in May 2019 under a different name, it was then postponed to February 2020. In January of this year, the release date was delayed again until April, and has since been pushed back until May 22nd 2020. Let’s hope this is the last change to occur to this album, as many fans eagerly anticipate what we can expect from Notes On a Conditional Form.

Over the years, The 1975 have continually developed and adapted their sound. Their debut The 1975 (2013) features some of their most well-known tunes, such as ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’ and entirely defined the 2010s indie music scene. Since then, they have released some dreamy, soft tunes like those on I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it (2016) and some much more mainstream material, like those on A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships (2018). With the release of Notes on a Conditional Form getting closer, it’s hard to know what we can expect. But one thing is for certain – it will be different in some way to all of their past releases.

Thus far, the singles they have released from the upcoming album have all presented very unique aspects and genres in themselves. ‘The 1975’ was the first single to be released and the first single on the album track-list, and received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, as it features young activist Greta Thunberg. Its relevancy is undoubtable, but it has been criticized as climate change activism and is a controversial topic for some.

Following ‘The 1975’, the band released ‘People’ which is definitely one which stands out from the rest. It demonstrates the band at their most rowdy, and is best played at the loudest volume possible. The performance of this song live is immense, considering its extreme contrast to other songs such as ‘Somebody Else’. The release of ‘People’ did put into question how the rest of the album would pan out. Could the band maintain their dreamy, indie sound after such a loud and lively single?

Unlike the first two singles, ‘Frail State of Mind’, ‘The Birthday Party’ and ‘Me & You Together Song’ all encompass the essential aspects of any song by The 1975, in their dream-like qualities, combined with dance-worthy music and soft vocals. Taking just these three singles into consideration, one could say that Notes On a Conditional Form will be no different to any other previous release from the band. But, it’s simply impossible to ignore the controversies and divide of opinions that ‘People’ and ‘The 1975’ caused, and therefore it’s impossible to predict what may come from the remaining unreleased material. Will it be as rowdy as ‘People’, or will they hold on to key features from past albums?

Notes On a Conditional Form is due to be released on May 22nd 2020 via Dirty Hit.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & second year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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