– 1:46, Paris, The 1975
Mr. Serotonin Man, lend me a gram
You call yourself a friend?
This is the fifteenth track on their 2016 release, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it, a gods-damned mouthful, yeah? The acoustic is a blessing for my ears. The first song of theirs I’ve ever heard is Girls from their self-titled album.
The atmosphere is one of understated melancholy, matching the lyrics to a tee. Matty’s voice is like a stream that’s bracingly aware it’s every dip and bend, and incredibly fluent in emotion.
As anyone who’s listened to them regularly would’ve probably already known Matty’s had a history with substance abuse, the heroin he mentions. He’s gotten a lot better recently, quite visibly too. I love that he can put it into songs, a method of coping with all the havoc it’s recked, in mind and body.
He’s not glorifying the drug but instead chose to be open about it, and thereby allowing fans to connect and among them are those who can relate. In fact, he calls himself out in the line: “She said I’ve been romanticizing heroin”.
This is what I adore most about music, it’s a communion. We get to feel some of his pain, take it into us, allow it to transform us (i.e., gives us an opportunity to empathize) and we let it out again in the form of words imbued with healing and love that we could tweet to him and the band, or perhaps a friend you know who could appreciate it. Whoever and wherever we are, we can be a part of this.
The Mr. Serotonin Man bit was my favourite. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that, among its varied functions, contributes to feelings of well being and, generally, happiness or contentment. Matty uses it in the context of a drug dealer but selling happy feels instead. Pretty clever.