The 1975 are on to their fifth single from the album and this one is titled “The Birthday Party.” No, it is not exactly about a birthday party, but something quite very deep. Let us take a look at the lyrics and song meaning.
“The Birthday Party” was premiered on February 19th, 2020, as the fifth single off of The 1975’s fourth studio album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form.’ The new single is preceded by “People,” “The 1975 (Notes),” “Frail State of Mind” and “Me & You Together Song.”
When interviewed by the Dazed magazine, Matt Healy of The 1975 explained the idea behind the song; “There’s a song called “The Birthday Party” that’s just about the interesting social minutiae of house parties. I was gonna do a song that was like, ‘What it was like to be at a house party at 20, 25, and 29’. But then I realised I don’t need to do it, I just need to do what it’s like now, because my career has been what it’s been like to be at a house party at 20, 25, and 29. I think (the album will) be similar in the way that Brief Inquiry can be quite deconstructed – there’s big, bombastic elements to it, but it’s a very stripped, pure version of The 1975. The older we get, the more Scandi we get with it, pop-wise. There’s still a lot of anxiety on the record, but there’s some big bits. Oh God, I don’t know, I’m f*cking stressed about it.”
Watch “The Birthday Party” Animated Video by The 1975
The animated video for the single is a work of art. It shows Matt Healy going for a therapeutic session called ‘Mindshower Digital Detox’ within an augmented reality. He does so by leaving all his digital equipment behind. However, for some reason, he still encounters popular internet memes inside this place that was supposed to give him peace of mind. In the interview with Dazed magazine, Matt Healy suggests that these memes are also there for detoxing. Guess they have been used over and over again on the internet. He eventually finds himself within this realm and kisses himself.
Matt Healy starts off the song by saying that he is “clean.” Usually, this is a reference to being free from drug abuse, which Matt Healy was known for. However, with the context of the song, he could be saying that he is free from these digital toxins–which is also a severe addiction in the world.
Next, he talks about the controversy surrounding the Pinegrove concerts. The emo rock band was accused of sexual misconduct engaging their fans. Matt Healy then reveals how he and his friends were at such a concert and were offered drugs. Some girls offered him to get F’d up and Matt Healy refuses saying he has a Mrs. But the girls persuade him saying it is just Adderall–a medication used to ADHD.
Maybe Matt took the pill because the next thing he remembers is chilling with these girls. He tries to kiss a girl, breaking his own oath and the girl pulls away.
The last bit of the verse sounds like Matty’s girlfriend going off on him. She is mad that he is out of his mind again and that he mingled with some girls. Luckily they are not married yet; “You know that I could sue ya if we’re married.”
Another confessional note by Matt Healy, but this time it sounds more like drugs than about digital addiction. He says that he relies on his friends to stay clean. This is a good thing, and sad as well. It also denotes that he has no self-control to keep himself away from it without external help. In a digital sense, it could also mean that his friends keep him distracted from the need for digital entertainment.
What do you think this song is about? Let us know by dropping a comment below. Check out the complete lyrics and further meaning breakdown on Genius.