Why Do The 1975 Say "What A Shame" So Much?

17 May 2016, 14:16 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Matty Healy
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

What does it all mean?

It's been three months since the release of the 1975's, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, and we've still got it locked-down on repeat. 

Perhaps it's the colossal length, or the dizzying amount of genres and styles, but 3 months later it still feels like a record that needs to be explored more, despite it receiving more spins than any other album this year. There is just so much to absorb! It's going to take time for all the secrets and idiosyncrasies of the record to fully unravel... 


In an interview with Zane Lowe back in February, Matty was asked about his relationship with early fans of the band and how that might change after this record as the band's profile gets bigger. 

"I am acutely aware of that relationship" he said. "The foundation that our band... is that relationship. One of the things that is really important, to me, on the record is that there is so much subtext, so many jokes, so many easter eggs, that are directly addressing our core fans. People feel like they're in the gang."

Well we think we found one of these easter eggs. Has anyone else noticed how the phrase 'what a shame' comes up, like, a lot? To illustrate this point, we made some crappy mood boards. Just take a look:


"Love Me"

what a shame slide


"The Ballad of Me and My Brain"

what a shame slide 2



what a shame slide 3

The phrase actually appears at least four times, if you include, "Look! He's having a breakdown, oh what a let down, a shame, I think he might die!" - on "She's American" (which, in turn, is similar to the line "Oh, what a let down" on first album track "Settle Down" .) 

Obviously it's deliberate, especially considering one of the tour t-shirts has the above lyrics to "Paris" on it. But what could its significance be? 

Is it an acknowledgement of how everyone is a f*cking mess? Could it be challenging apathetic attitudes? Is Matty actually a nihilist? Or are we totally over-thinking this? We'd love to know your thoughts. Let us know in the comments...