song review

The 1975 Work Their Magic on ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)

At this point both nothing and everything The 1975 do is surprising. They’ve pulled some real corkers out the bag in the run up to A Brief Enquiry into Online Relationships but after all, this is the band that delivered songs like ‘Love Me’ and ‘She’s American’ so how surprising is it?

The newest song to come from the band’s third album is ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ which is a tale of Matty Healy’s addiction, the lyrics referencing herion in the place of a love interest. It’s one of those where listening to the song and listening to the song are two very different things.


The way the song is almost a love song to heroin makes it easy to forgot it’s about drugs which is probably the point and a statement about how quick we all are to romanticise drug usage. It’s not the first time Healy has talked about his addictions on ’75 records.

In some ways it’s saddening in lines like “distract my brain from the terrible news” but that’s the point, the second verse references someone who tries to look for sympathy through the excuse of surgery and the opioid crisis in the US and that’s exactly what Matty does in the chorus, try to justify his use of the drug.

Listen to the track here.



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