The music The 1975 makes doesn’t easily fall into one genre. This is partly because of their music evolution over time, with their sound evolving from album to album, but also because, while they do have a signature sound, it can tick the boxes of quite a few categories. I think it is hard to define a song as representative of just one type of sound, since that can be extremely limiting. When talking about The 1975’s genre in an interview, lead singer Matty Healy said, “Imagine if you woke up one morning, and you had your record collection, and the concept of genre didn’t exist. The purity of that experience of listening to music without those rules is a blissful idea.” He puts it very well, highlighting how the preconceived notions of genre can impact the act of just listening to music.

To dig deeper into the impact of the genre of “Love It If We Made It”, here is a list a few of the genres The 1975’s music falls into: pop, rock, alternative, electronic, indie, and any combination of those (electronic-pop, indie-rock, etc.). Focusing specifically on “Love It If We Made It”, I’d say the best way to classify this song is as “synthetic pop”. While researching more about synth-pop, I found some sources claiming that the genre is also referred to as electro-pop, while others say the two share some similarities, but have some slight differences that make them different genres. For the sake of this post, I am going to consider synth-pop and electro-pop to be the same genre and ignore the potential small differences because I got very confused trying to differentiate the two.

Synth-pop/electro-pop began appearing in the 1980s and involves the use of a synthesizer as its own instrument, instead of to replicate other instrumental sounds. This genre relies on the traditional use of the four-piece rock band structure (percussion, lead instrument, bass instrument, vocal) combined with heavy use of the synthesizer. “Most synth-pop combines electronic and other instruments, plus strong vocals and melodies, and elements of whatever dance music styles are popular at the time.” The genre aims to be popular and find mainstream success but it is also an outlet for artists to be experimental. “Electropop,… is music made for this moment, is influenced by all sorts of world music styles but especially hip hop, and doesn’t rely on any sort of dystopian futurism for it’s stylistic cues.”

A Pitchfork review described the sound of “Love It If We Made It” as a combination of “80s sophistipop melodies, soaring choral parts, [and] squealing filter disco riffs”. If I were to describe the sound in a few words they would be pulsing, catchy, anthemic, and hyperactive. “Love It If We Made It” song relies heavily on the use of the synthesizer while also including the four piece rock band instruments as well.

It starts out with some staccato synthesizer tones that slowly build and sound like they are counting down or up towards something, while synth tones swell in the background. Once the vocals kick in, the drums make a strong appearance. The strong and consistent drum beat, combined with the synthesizer, make up the majority of foreground sounds heard throughout the song. The energy in the beat makes you want to move, tap your foot, bob your head, as you get drawn into the song. It cuts into a more “pop-ish” chorus, with the synth tones mostly cutting out, more guitar being heard, and the drum beat changing. The way The 1975 use the synthesizer in this song really sets the tone and cements its place within the genre of synth-pop. The synth is clearly being used as an additional instrument, not to replicate other instrument sounds. What the synthesizer adds to the song is essential and contributes to the seemingly endless layers of sound that build to create an intense experience for the listener. It is very hard to focus on all of the sounds at once, and the synthetic sounds The 1975 have decided to include contribute significantly to the building up of the song and complement the lyrics perfectly, emphasizing certain points to achieve a desired effect. The lyrics themselves are very strong and straightforward in their delivery, but with a much more complex overall message.

While The 1975 like to take a progressive stance on certain social issues in their songs, I would say “Love it If We Made It” is probably one of their most (if not their most) experimental songs. The lyrics, music, and video together contribute to an experience that serves capture its audience’s attention right from the start. This song is very much a snapshot of a specific moment in time, and I believe its genre of synth-pop serves to emphasis this point.