Memes, memes and more fucking memes—that’s The 1975’s latest visual in a nutshell. Whether you stan them or not, “The Birthday Party” MV is all sorts of impressive. And it’s all because of the band’s intense meme deep dive.
But the song itself is nowhere near comical. On the contrary, it echoes ’90s Britpop’s acoustic melancholic tracks. Think of Blur’s stripped-down, reflective overture, “Out of Time” or Pulp’s lo-fi commentary on relationship shifts, “Something Changed.” But for its visuals, the English pop-rock band decides to subvert its message by sending in the memes.
In the music video, we see vocalist Matt Healy entering a digital detox. He relinquishes his phone and enters a virtual Garden of Eden. As it goes on, we realize how far off he actually is from having a digital detox. Every frame after he enters the virtual garden is full of references only digital nomads and meme connoisseurs will get.
Read more: Memes are fun, but when is the right time to laugh?
Healy meets a version of Pepe the Frog as your average yogi. Right after, he meets the crying cat meme and the overtly sexualized Earth-chan (yes, a chibi drawing of Planet Earth). There’s even a man posting flyers reading: “Looking for Goth GF” (sounds familiar, thirsty soft bois?). And then, there’s a medley of The 1975 lead singer doing—dear god no—“Fortnite” dances.
The beloved distracted boyfriend meme also makes an appearance. Classics like The Troll Face, Pedobear, a toothy rainbow teddy bear, our lord and savior Shrek and our younger sibling’s nightmare Momo dropped by to say hi as well. As the video comes to a close, all the memes form a circle and hold the lead singer by the hand.
Like we keep reiterating, this music video is a fucking trip. It’s an experience for The 1975 stans and meme aficionados as well. Finally, something can unite the two—and it’s “The Birthday Party.”
Still from The 1975