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Released: 2022

“Happiness” by The 1975 is a poignant narrative of self-discovery, love, and heartbreak. This track grapples with the ironic complexity of romantic pursuits, contrasting the ecstasy of love with the agony of its subsequent loss. All wrapped up in the innocence of self-exploration, the song is an homage to the euphoric highs and daunting lows of youthful romance.

The song kicks off with a reflective statement, “Confidence is comical”. Here, frontman Matty Healy meditates on the pretense of self-assurance – perhaps a veiled critique of pop culture’s obsession with unattainable confidence. The song oscillates between this newfound happiness in love and a coming-of-age realization about self, reflected in the lyrics “I’m happiest when I’m doing something that I know is good”. This could be an affirmation of the band’s integrity in their artistic journey and the fulfillment they find within it.

In the heart of the song, Healy confesses, “She showed me what love is”, acknowledging the transformative power of this experience. Then the lines “I would go blind just to see you / I’d go too far just to have you near” paint a picture of his profound infatuation, where he’s willing to compromise everything—even himself—for love. The repetition of “my, my, my” assumes a hypnotic, mantra-like quality, resonating with the all-consuming nature of this romance.

The song then takes a dark turn with “I’m never gonna love again”. This despairing admission portrays the devastating end of his relationship—an apparent decline from the pedestal of love. The lines “Show me your love / Why don’t you grow up and see?” seem to direct frustration towards his ex-lover, urging them to mature and understand the depth of his feelings. This could also indicate a struggle with unrequited love or the disconnect between his feelings and his lover’s grasp of them.

In the end, Healy metaphorically alludes to timing in love with “You met me at the right time”. This suggests a late realization that love thrives not just on deep affection, but also on the right circumstances and timings. However, despite the pain and perceived comedy of self-assurance, the song loops back to the starting declaration, reinforcing the singer’s commitment to happiness and his sense of humor amidst the tumult.

“Happiness” by The 1975 encapsulates the tumultuous ride of love and self-awakening. It artistically manifests the ironic entanglement of love and pain, the pursuit of happiness, and the comedy of confidence, ultimately imparting a bitter-sweet taste of life’s reality.