“Sincerity is Scary” is the seventh track off of “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships”, The 1975’s latest album. The song narrates a person’s tendencies to present themselves in a way that does not show the extent of their anxiety and insecurity, but this only leads to issues when having interactions and relationships with others.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on his “Beats Radio 1 Show” back in September 2018, Matthew Healy discussed the meaning behind the song:
‘Sincerity Is Scary’ is about me trying to denounce all of that postmodern fear of like being real, you know? Like irony first, irony first. Make sure you’re ironic because then you can’t be judged on being a person. And I’ve become so aware of the shtick that exists within my kind of lyrical narrative as well, because obviously I love everything that I’ve done previously but now as I got older I see these kind of defense mechanisms whether they be jokes or being slightly sardonic or like he is the big emotional bit of the song but I’m not going to be really emotional. All those kind of things. I think on this record it’s slightly more, it’s just a bit more open and a bit easier, and genuinely sincere.”
In an interview with Genius, Healy also spoke about what the song means to him: “As I’ve not gotten older, but as I’ve grown up, as a person, I just find that it’s harder to be really sincere. Because you have to be really human and you have to be really soppy and a bit of a sigh. And you have to be a bit soft, do you know what I mean? And it’s easier to be ironic in the face of those situations. It’s easier to take the piss out of it. To kind of talk self-awareness and self-scrutiny and irony is kind of paramount. Or at least they’re the best defense mechanisms that you’ve got. Or like be really sardonic. And then, I suppose I just noticed myself doing that, because I think I’ve always been kind of a positive person, and I kind of wanted to denounce, a little bit, and be sincere.” He also talked about the process of writing the track: “The first day of” Sincerity Is Scary,” when we wrote it, we were in the studio in England, in the countryside in England. It was me, George, all of us were there. Rome was playing the piano, the intro. The chords were super-dope, sort of neo-soul kind of cords and it reminded me of that kind of 9th Wonder, Jay Dilla kind of thing. And we’re so into that. And we love playing with those textures as producers, as well. Not because it’s easy but because it’s really rewarding and really rich. And you can make really calculated music that feels really human. So, it was just like a natural progression and I stand by George being one of the best drummers in the world. I give him the opportunity to do some kind of Jay Dilla beat and he’s going to run with it. So it was this really behind the beat, taking a lot of our love for modern American Gospel, like church kids, like how they play and kind of like everything being really independent and sloppy but making this really coherent thing. And then I’ve always got to find ways to make like hip-hop music, right? Because the cadence is so specific and adheres to certain rules and I don’t have a slogan voice. I could never be in Mobb Deep or go into a track with DMX, right? I don’t limit myself as an artist. But I like to do my own version of what somebody would do in that. So yeah, it’s a really fun, breezy song.”
The music video was directed by Warren Fu who later directed another one of the band’s songs: “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)”. The video consists of Healy waking up and leaving his house in the morning, with trumpeters playing the beginning of the track, meeting people along the way as he makes his way through the neighbourhood. He meets an elderly woman, a man wearing a suit and hat whom he dances with, and at the end of the video meets a young girl dressed as a clown who is shown in black and white. Healy climbs up a ladder and pour water on the young girl, which turns the girl into colour, then leading up to a pink sky. The video has over 10 million views since its upload in November 2018.
Release Date: 13th September 2018
Songwriter/s: Adam Hann, Georgie Daniel, Ross MacDonald & Matthew (Matty) Healy
Producer/s: George Daniel & Matty Healy
Label/s: Dirty Hit / Polydor
Music Video Release Date: 21st November 2018
Music Video Director: Warren Fu
Chart Rankings: It went to #66 in Ireland, #98 in Scotland, #57 in the UK Singles Charts Company and #20 in the US Billboard Hot Rock Songs.