The 1975 – The Birthday Party

There’s a lot going on in The 1975’s “The Birthday Party”. At its heart are four verses of uninterrupted narrative, where we are introduced to a diverse array of characters in addition to the singer himself, who for the most part is the subject of the track. And his most notable characteristic in this particular case is his commitment to sobriety. 

Indeed The 1975’s lead singer Matt Healy is someone who has dealt with addiction issues in the past. However, he has been clean for over a year prior to the release of this tune. So again, this song relies on a number of colorful characters and on top of that some intricate metaphors, and there is also a romantic subplot. But at the end of the day, the story basically plays out like this:


“The Birthday Party” seems to be exactly that, a party. And at this gathering some people are going to be getting high. Meanwhile, as stated earlier, Matt himself doesn’t want to go there. So basically what this tune is meant to allude to is the type of temptation he faces under those situation. Indeed the vocalist concludes by exclaiming that he ‘depends on his friends to stay clean’. And he also acknowledges that such is not an ideal way to stay sober. 

So in a way you can even say that he is entreating his buddies not to tempt him with drugs. And if you want to explore this tune’s general applicability, of course such a sentiment can be extended to any former addict who has committed him or herself to staying drug-free. In other words, in its most-basic form, “The Birthday Party” is the tale of someone who, based on his past, is indeed tempted by drugs. However, due to his present vow not to take them anymore he does not want them being shoved in his face, not even at a party where others are engaging in such activities.

Lyrics of "The Birthday Party"

Facts about “The Birthday Party”

The music video to this track, which is an animated affair, has Ben Ditto and Jon Emmony to thank for its direction.

The video is set in a fictitious world called Mindshower. This is a concept behind which the band created an entire website to promote the song.

This track was released as the fourth single from The 1975’s album, “Notes on a Conditional Form”, on 19 February 2020. And the labels that put it out are Polydor Records and Dirty Hit.

Its credited writers are the members of The 1975:

  • Matthew Healy
  • George Daniel
  • Adman Hann
  • Ross MacDonald

Healy and Daniel also served as the producers of “The Birthday Party”.

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