Just a little over a week before dropping their long-awaited album A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, The 1975 released the music video for “Sincerity is Scary.” Departing from the moody, jazz-influenced pop sound of 2016’s I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, their sophomore effort ABIIOR seems destined for a more uplifting and radiant resonance with singles such as “Give Yourself a Try” and “TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.” However, “Sincerity is Scary” fits the bill in a different fashion.
Whereas The 1975’s most recent videos veered more towards abstract visuals, “Sincerity is Scary” tells a story. Classically misanthropic, danceable and a bit condescending, the video mimics the song on an acoustic and aesthetic level. The visuals take a turn from the fluorescent pinks and blues we would expect from The 1975, and the first scene features a disheveled Matty Healy in a completely white room, the only exception being his navy forearm tattoo that reads “WEAK MESSAGES CREATE BAD SITUATIONS.” The camera then pans to a black-and-white piece of art on the wall before landing on a vivid urban scene. From then on, Healy takes to singing in the streets and adapting to the various dance scenes and street illusions he encounters throughout his leisurely stroll.
While seemingly unfit for a song about a difficult relationship, the music video suits the narrative in its capacity to foster a fun, upbeat energy in the face of the various difficulties Healy faces throughout it. Though characteristically pedantic and corny in its delivery and aims, it showcases The 1975’s undeniable strength in generating an appeal and sound that is genuine and all their own.