Sincerity Is Scary

Album: A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships (2018)
Charted: 57

Songfacts®:

  • The 1975's Matty Healy takes off his mask during this horn-laden, jazzy number and detaches himself from the habitual use of irony that he and his contemporaries like to hide themselves in.

    And irony is okay, I suppose, culture is to blame
    You try and mask your pain in the most postmodern way


    Healy told Beats 1's Zane Lowe: "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."
  • Healy goes on to criticize his own writing techniques.

    You lack substance when you say something like, 'Oh what a shame'
    It's just a self-referential way that stop you having to be human


    The phrase "What a shame" is a motif that appeared several times on The 1975's previous album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, featuring in the lyrics of "Love Me," "The Ballad of Me and My Brain" and "Paris." Healy said:

    "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."
  • Though Healy is renowned for his use of irony and cynicism, he makes a case here for earnestness.

    "Irony is okay. Like, it's fine," The 1975 singer explained to Genius. "It's a tried and tested way of not really dealing with stuff. It's harder to be really sincere. It's harder to be soft and vulnerable in the face of earnestness, serious s--t. It's easier to be ironic in the face of those situations. It's easier to take the piss out of it. Or like be really sardonic. It's just something that I really, really noticed. And I kind of wanted to denounce."
  • The charming Warren Fu-directed video features Matty Healy dancing like he's in old musical on a replica of the streets of New York City.
  • The song features the late American jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who passed away on November 2, 2018.

    Healy described working with Hargrove to Pitchfork as "intense," such was his admiration for the trumpet maestro. "You'd get him in the room and you'd be so scared," the 1975 frontman added. "He did the trumpets on D'Angelo's Voodoo, which is the most iconic brass section for us ever. He was the greatest musician I've ever been in a room with, by a mile."

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