“Girls” us the upbeat pop-funk track from English indie rock band The 1975. Written by all members of the band, the song is the 11th track off of their 33-track self titled album release back in 2013. The music video was released first, on the 23rd October 2013, then the single released on the 11th November 2013.
The song tells the tale of a young woman (“17 and a half years old”) who seems to believe that Healy (who is not “your typical stoned 18 year old”) is her “saviour”. The chorus consists of Healy telling himself that: “she can’t be what you need if she’s 17”. The pre-chorus consists of Healy telling his younger lover that “Yo, I think you better go, I can’t take you / You just sit and get stoned with 30-year-olds and you think / You’ve made it / Well, shouldn’t you be f**king with somebody your age instead / Of making changes?”. This line refers to the fact the Healy feels too much pressure from this girl, and feels that despite their small age difference that she has a lot to learn, and believes she’s made it in life because she’s surrounding herself with people who are older than her and taking drugs.
The music video (which as of January 2019 has almost 56 million views) was directed by the band’s close friend Adam Powell. It follows another music video for another one of their songs “Sex”, which was the music video where the band changed the art style of their videos by filming them in colour, rather than their usual monochrome style. In an interview with DigitalSpy publication, Healy explained the colour choice of the video:
“When we released our last video [‘Sex’], people really reacted to the fact that it was in colour. There was a lot of conjecture and talk surrounding it – due to the fact that it was an unexpected stylistic change. It was brought to our attention that certain people thought we were ‘conforming to a record company’s wishes’ along with other expected and unexpected clichés. Obviously, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as we are lucky enough to be surrounded by a group of individuals whose mantra centres on facilitating our creative wishes, we found the whole idea of us being told what to do fascinating. The story of the band who suffer at the hands of a record label shortly after a delirious rise is a tale as old as time. So we kinda wanted to make a tongue-in-cheek video about it. Twinned with our love of ’80s pop, its innocence, grandiosity and conceptual ideas in music videos – we wanted to make a video about a record label’s attempt at enforced conformity. We got our mate Adam down to a studio in Los Angeles at the start of our USA tour, got four models and made a video about us not wanting to make a video.”
Release Date: 11th November 2013
Songwriter/s: Matthew Healy, George Daniel, Adam Hann & Ross MacDonald
Producer/s: The 1975, Mike Crossey
Label/s: Dirty Hit
Music Video Release Date: 23rd October 2013
Music Video Director: Adam Powell
Chart Rankings & Certifications: The track reached the top charts in the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 at #28, #45 in the UK Singles, #3 in Denmark, #67 in the Slovakia Top 100 Singles Chart, #62 in the Czech Republic, and #13 in the Belgium Ultratip Flanders chart. It also received a Gold certification in the UK.