In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, with June just heating up, we asked: What song says “summer” to you so far this year?
For those of us trapped in cities where spring arrives late, SXSW offers the first taste of life beyond the cold gray curtain that hangs over our hometowns for too much of the year. It’s the first step toward summer, and it’s the place where I heard the song that’s the strongest candidate for my summer jam this year, “Chocolate” by The 1975. Josh Modell and I were watching them on a gloriously sunny and warm day during a party at this year’s festival, admiring the surprisingly poppy sounds coming from some guys with Ned’s Atomic Dustbin haircuts.
But The 1975’s sound owes more to ’80s pop than ’90s alternative. “Chocolate,” from IV—the latest in a string of four EPs released since last August—could soundtrack a montage in a John Hughes movie. (The other songs on the EP probably could too.) It’s deliciously catchy, though Matthew Healy’s Mancunian accent is only intermittently decipherable. There’s something about chocolate, guns… and petticoats? That can’t be right, can it? (It can—least legible lyrics page in history?)
Even with the help of lyrics, I have no idea what “Chocolate” is about, but it has a bouncy, airy quality—a lil’ bit of cheese—that seems appropriate for warm weather. The band’s full-length debut arrives in September, just as weather in Chicago begins its turn toward the ominous. Oh well, I can listen to it during those oppressive days and remember sunnier times.