The 1975 have never been a group to shy away from difficult, heartfelt topics. Their latest track “‘Frail State of Mind” is a testament to their dedication to use music as a craft to tell a personal narrative. This time, that narrative is about Healy’s battle with social anxiety.
Stream: “Frail State of Mind” – The 1975
The 1975 has never been a group to shy away from tackling larger issues in their music. Complex topics seem to write themselves into songs that the band makes, and The 1975’s music is often a vessel for its creators to express their opinions, reveal their intricacies, and beyond.
The group’s latest release, “Frail State of Mind,” holds true to that. The band does a deep dive on anxiety and overthinking in this song, capturing exactly how it feels to be battling with social anxiety leading up to an event. The track, sonically, is reminscent of their older music while maintaining a freshness that is only to be expected from the British band. The song, expected to be included on their upcoming fourth project, borrows elements from A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, specifically the track ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.’ Despite the similarities, lead singer Matty Healy and his bandmates manage to create something dashingly different that captures the sensation of an experience all too many of us experience. The result is a catchy song with lyrics that are personal, yet transparent enough to be relatable to a larger audience.
I’m sorry that I missed your call
I watched it ring
‘Don’t waste their time’
I’ve always got a frail state of mind
The song provides a commentary, though not as political as ‘Love it if We Made It,” but more intimate and intrinsic to Healy himself. He admitted in a recent interview with Dazed, “There’s a song on it [the fourth album] called ‘Frail State of Mind,’ which is a UK garage, sad, burial kind of thing about social anxiety, you know, going out,” he admitted. “I’m better at it happening, [at] me and you sitting down and having a conversation, than thinking about going to do the conversation. The social event’s normally always fine, but the build up to it, I hate it.”
The track opens with a question. “Go outside?// Seems unlikely// I’m sorry that I missed your call //I watched it ring // ‘Don’t waste their time’ // I’ve always got a frail state of mind.” The first few lyrics of this song establish that Healy spends a significant amount of time contemplating the so-called ‘lead up’ to a social situation. He describes watching a phone ring and letting it go to voicemail and not answering, further demonstrating his anxieties. The imagery provided in these lyrics is simple yet attention-grabbing. Once Healy pulls his audience in with these lyrics, he continues to reveal exactly what goes on in his mind.
Oh boy don’t cry
I’m sorry, but I
I always get this way sometimes
Oh, I’ll just leave
I’ll save you time
I’m sorry ’bout my frail state of mind
In the chorus, Healy finds himself apologizing. Again. The thread that carries this song is the sentiment of always having to apologize for being anxious, or not being fully present, or ‘getting this way.’ It’s a feeling that will resonate with almost all people who struggle or have struggled with anxiety, and that’s why it’s so potent. Healy sings, “Oh, don’t be shy // I’m sorry but I // I always get this way sometimes // You lot just leave behind // I’ll stay behind // I’m sorry ‘bout my frail state of mind.”
Though the beat of the song sonically is similar to “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME,” the sentiment could not be more different. Whereas one is an upbeat song exploring relationships, ‘Frail State of Mind’ is an apologetic, intimate piece that will inevitably find a home in the heart of anyone who has experienced anxiety. The chorus also contradicts itself, as Healy says, “I always get this way sometimes,” which shows exactly how much social anxiety impacts him, as he struggles to explain himself to an unknown audience.
Oh, what’s the vibe?
I wouldn’t know, I’m normally
in bed at this time
You guys, go do your thing
And I’ll just leave at nine
Don’t wanna bore you with
my frail state of mind
Healy continues to explain himself when another question is introduced to the listener. This time, the question appears to be from a third party perspective. “Oh, what’s the vibe? // I wouldn’t know, I’m normally in bed at this time // You guys, go do your thing // And I’ll just leave at nine // Don’t wanna bore you with my frail state of mind.” These lyrics reveal an apparent contrast – there is a push and pull between the individual who asked the question and Healy. Healy admits that he ‘wouldn’t know,’ and tells what seems to be his friends to ‘go do your thing.’ These lyrics again reveal how Healy fights with anxiety — this constant, nagging feeling of worry. Healy says that he’ll ‘just leave at nine,’ because he doesn’t ‘wanna bore you with my frail state of mind.’ This mindset is unfortunately characteristic of so many people who struggle with mental illness and anxieties. Many people feel that they don’t want to talk about their difficulties because they don’t want to bring their friends into it. This song is an important step in the conversation around mental health and anxiety, because it breaks a barrier. It starts a conversation on the topic, a topic which is not spoken honestly enough about. It creates a safe place for people who have a similar struggle to say, I understand this, and I’m struggling, too, but I am not alone.
“Frail State of Mind” is true to The 1975 – it breaks down a difficult topic and offers thoughtful, honest commentary.
The pressure to do this effectively is a lot, but it is one Healy and his bandmates manage gracefully. Fans who have experienced a similar situation will surely show their gratitude to Healy for writing about an idea that resonates with so many — and reveals how, despite the fact that anxiety often has an isolating effect, no one who struggles from it is alone.
Stream: “Frail State of Mind” – The 1975
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