The 1975's A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships album, released in 2018, was both a critical and commercial success. This song was inspired by the "fragility" the band felt when things started to get big.
Oh, I'll just leave
I'll save you time
I'm sorry 'bout my frail state of mind
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, frontman Matty Healy explained that when Brief Inquiry took off, it put additional pressure on the band. The 1975 felt like they were "reaching for the stars creatively" as they recorded its follow-up. This resulted in them closing the door on the world while they worked on the record.
"I think there was like a maybe a fragility to us, because maybe we were a little bit frightened or something," Healy said. "And I think that, well I mean the song's called 'Frail State of Mind', it's about anxiety... it's quite somber."
The "frail state of mind" Healy is describing is actually social anxiety. Speaking to Dazed
, he explained that he's better at having a conversation than the nerve-racking buildup to do the conversation. "The social event's normally always fine, but the build up to it, I hate it," he said.
Healy and 1975 drummer George Daniel were fans of garage music in their teen years. The 1975 frontman described this track as an exploration of social anxiety set against a UK garage backdrop. He told Zane Lowe: "I very much channeled, kind of like 17, 18 year old me and George that's kind of been the vibe."
The song features trumpet by the late American jazz star and longtime D'Angelo collaborator Roy Hargrove.
The 1975 performed the song for the first time during their November 16, 2019 gig at the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey.
Directed by Patricia Villirillo, Mara Palena, and Matty Healy, the frenzied clip features the singer in a cluttered room with hundreds of photographs. A camcorder films Healy while glitchy images, both futuristic and retro, constantly flash up behind him. Presumably all this illustrates his "frail state of mind."