The 1975 – Sex (EP) (Dirty Hit Records)


Quick history: from 2005 until 2010 the Manchester quartet were known as Drive Like I Do then disappeared, reformed and reemerged briefly as B I G S L E E P before changing their name to the Slowdown.

Keeping their identity and online presence anonymous, in 2012 the quartet renamed themselves yet again – this time to The 1975. The band signed a deal, revealed their identity shortly after, and an official release was finally scheduled.

Their first single “The City” immediately caught the attention of BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe who aired the track in May 2012. The track was included on the band’s debut EP ‘Facedown’, which was released on August 6, 2012 through Dirty Hit Records and is the first of three EPs set to be released before the band’s first full-length album.

Bloggers and audiences cottoned on quickly and shortly after the release of the ‘Facedown’ EP, a new song entitled “Sex” made its way onto Radio 1 airwaves followed by a live session at BBC’s Maida Vale studios for Huw Stephens program on Radio 1 in October 2012.

“Sex” is the lead track from the band’s latest EP of the same name. The track itself, like the material on the previous EP, was included in the live sets of the band’s earlier incarnations.

The ‘Sex’ EP is made up of four tracks opening with the dreamy “Intro/Set 3”.  Zulu Winter style atmospheric indie-rock meets the electro-rock/pop of The Big Pink in this a moody mid-paced number heavy on synths and reverb and complete with Alesis SR-16 style electronic beats and layered dreamy vocals.

“Undo” continues with a similar sonic template and mood but incorporates R&B and boy-band like textures reminiscent of San Francisco trio Lemonade (read our review of their brilliant ‘Diver’ album from last year).

Things really get moving though with the brilliant “Sex”. A definite rock anthem, “Sex” has a similar appeal and energy to “Techno Fan” by The Wombats with hints of Snow Patrol style stadium-rock. Vastly different to the other two tracks, “Sex” is an out-and-out Radio 1 hit.

It may be that the band are still refining their style but it’s like the EP is split in two halves: the dreamy atmospheric electronic pop found in the first two tracks and the hooky, earnest indie-rock found in the second two.

The final listed track “You” initially appears to clock in at 26:10 but in fact consists of “You” at 4:50 in duration followed by approximately 20 minutes silence and then a hidden track (“Milk”).

Both “You” and”Milk” are riddled with hooks and continue with the anthemic, stadium ready indie-rock of “Sex”; “You” is moodier and more atmospheric and bridges the gap between the band’s two apparent styles while hidden track “Milk” features more of the straight forward Snow Patrol style indie-rock poppiness.

The “Sex” EP shows that The 1975 have the ingredients and the potential but appear uncertain on what band they want to be.

As if to commemorate what a stellar year 2012 was for the band, this week iTunes announced their New For 2013 tips, which includes the track “The City” alongside tracks from other buzz artists such as HAIM, Rudimental, Laura Mvula. The 12 songs will be offered as free downloads in three bundles of four songs starting Monday January 7, 2013.

The “Sex” EP was released on 19 November, 2012 is available via iTunes now.

Watch the video for “Sex” below: