The 1975 have used the first track from their upcoming record, Notes On a Conditional Form, as a call to action during a climate crisis. Titled “The 1975,” as was the introductory track to their previous three records, they open their fourth album with a 5-minute spoke word piece by 16-year-old climate and environmental activist Greta Thunberg.
“We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis, and we need to call it what it is: an emergency,” Thunberg begins on the track. Exactly one year ago, the Swedish teen embarked on her trailblazing journey with a school strike for climate outside of the Swedish parliament. Since then, Thunberg has continued to raise global awareness about the harsh reality of the climate crisis by voicing the drastic effects and changes that must be made.
“To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible,” she continues. Backed by a simple piano melody, it is difficult to avoid the intense emotions the track ignites. There is an undulation of sadness and fear, resolving with a powerful wave of strength, and a hope that while we cannot reverse the damage that has been done, we can prevent it from worsening to detrimental levels.
The 1975 have been known to use their platform to stand up for social justice and inequality amidst true social and political disarray, with lyrical elements from their most recent record, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, capturing the contemporary chaos. Though, this collaboration with Thunberg has sparked a new wave of conversation among the band’s prevalent audience.
The conversation among fans now encompasses plastic pollution, veganism, deforestation, and taking action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Vocalist Matty Healy has also consistently voiced the urgency of the situation, sharing daily ways to reduce single use plastics, and more recently revealing on Twitter that guest list opportunities for friends and colleagues would be sold at regular ticket prices, and sales will be donated to reforestation charities.
“We can no longer save the wold by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change,” says Thunberg, who is currently crossing the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat on her way to New York to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23.
In a chilling final statement, Thunberg concludes the track with, “It is time to rebel,” emphasizing the need for urgent action.
“The 1975” is available for streaming and download on all platforms now.
Read more on how you can take action against climate change.