[14] Cigarettes After Sex, ‘Apocalypse’

CigarettesAfterSex-2017Remember Cigarettes After Sex? Not the post-coital phenomenon. Although, is that still a thing post-smoking ban? No one smokes indoors anywhere now, unless they’re really rock’n’roll like its very spirit Alex Turner or, um, Matt Healy. Anyway, let me know about cigarettes after sex.

The name appals the kids. Junior sneers. “It’s a bit…” Isn’t it? Kind of alienating. You know what they’re aiming for. Ooh, I’m a big fan of Cigarettes After Sex hahaha. Junior 2 is more fascinated by the song. “It’s like that man on the piano on Britain’s Got Talent,” she says, narrowing it down to, I dunno, actually I really don’t know. David Sneddon or something.

On its own terms, stripped of association, ‘Apocalypse’ is a bewitching little lullaby. Junior’s eventually singing along and that alone makes her hoist it up the fridge-based ranking ladder to 14.

[3] The 1975, ‘Somebody Else’


I was there when the Popjustice judges shoved this into second place behind… Christ, I can’t remember what won. It wasn’t this. Some things are too beautiful to succeed.

If any fellow music journalists are reading, they’ll like this: I never bought or owned the first 1975 album in any way; I just used to dip into PlayMPE every now and then and listen to it. So, obviously I never heard the whole record. Trying to listen to I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It is even more of a challenge, because its playing length actually exceeds its title. Still, worth it in the end, whatever age you end up.

“I like the rhythm,” says Junior 2. “Yeah, the beat,” clarifies big sis. Junior 2’s thinking now: “Is it the man with the curly hair?” Yes, it is. They, like everyone else, were very taken with The 1975’s Glastonbury performance (on the telly; I’m not a madman), providing raw proof that this is a band breaking through everywhere to mass cross-generational, and cross-taste, effect. ‘Somebody Else’ is simply gorgeous, straddling some unconsidered line between FM Radio 70s pop and Balearic house, and doing it while addressing an impulse we all recognise but are never particularly proud of. If you get me. By Jove, they’re going to be so huge.

[17] Little Scream, ‘Love As A Weapon’


I’m listening to The 1975’s I Like It When You Sleep… (that’ll do) for the whateverth time this year. Still don’t quite get the decision to end with two acoustic ballads. Every time I play it, I expect it to make some kind of sense to see out one of the most fidgety pop albums of the last 30 years in such a one-note way, but I’m not there yet. I’ll try to make this sound relevant in a minute.

“Is this Prince?” asks J2. She’s got a point. Clipped funk, falsetto and a knack for addictive pop make ‘Love As A Weapon’ very Purple, even if it feels more eager to please than he ever was. “Is it a man or a lady?” she adds. Clearly, Laurel Sprengelmeyer begs the same questions as Prince too. If Bowie managed to write his own epitaph this year, at least Prince got to hang around in spirit, and not just here. He’s embedded in that sprawling 1975 double as well, nestled alongside Duran Duran of every period from 1981 to 2004.

Perhaps we should recoil from referencing heritage artists whenever we listen to new stuff, but if the current breed can’t help doing it themselves, what can you do? It doesn’t bother me.

J1 shrugs. “Meh.”