It’s been a long and painful wait for the 1975 to release some new music following their 2013 album, The 1975, and thanks to Zane Lowe’s stroke of genius to re-score the iconic film Drive, Matty, Adam, George and Ross reappeared. They were given specific scenes from the film, and wrote their new song ‘Medicine’ to accompany it.
The intro to the song is just like any other 1975 creation – atmospheric and distinctive, with the impression the band is just experimenting with different sounds, and then the guitar kicks in. The melody and sound is reminiscent of The Velvet Underground and R.E.M, very similar to ‘Everybody Hurts’ in fact. The drums are next , setting the tempo to a slow and meaningful rhythm. When asked about the song, lead singer Matty Healey said it returns to the roots of the 1975 – the sound they originally put out from a bedroom. The last half of the song is purely instrumental, possibly demonstrating their focus on style instead of substance.
The sentiment of the song itself, maybe obviously, is about a girl being his medicine. Healey has made no secret of the fact this song is very meaningful to him, calling it one of their “most personal and most-loved” creations, and referring to ‘Medicine’ as a mausoleum to capture and put to bed ideas of this song he didn’t want to “delve into”.
As a 1975 fan myself, this song didn’t capture me like others did: it’s missing that spark. Vocally, Healey doesn’t excel himself, as well as lyrically underperforming when faced with such an important sentiment, and it pains me to say it takes me back to my Year 9 days of Mayday Parade and You Me At Six. Understandably, the song is intended to accompany a movie scene, so the stripped-back, atmospheric style might be purposeful, but with such an opportunity, I can’t help but think they could have done so much more.
Who knows, it might be a slow burner.