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Greta Thunberg joins The 1975 on their new album


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In the midst of the US President's continued active denial of climate change and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's unclear stance on the issue, we sit in the most brutally severe heatwave we've had since 1911. It's easy for anybody to feel discouraged and anxious about the environmental trajectory. 

Image by Anders Hellberg

The 1975 have never been ones to shy away from the subject of politics - proving that in their last album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships in tracks such as 'Love It If We Made It' and 'I Like America & America Likes Me' where they delve into topics such as Trump, refugees, police brutality and liberalism. Now they are debuting a new track with an unexpected yet somehow expected collaboration with none other than 16-year-old climate crisis youth leader, Greta Thunberg. 

A version of the self-titled song features on each of the band’s studio albums, though this edition is the longest, clocking in at over four minutes as opposed to the traditional one and a half. The track – recorded in Stockholm at the end of June – is the first release from the band’s upcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form, due out in February next year. 

Over an ambient and eerie piano instrumental, Greta's calm yet forthright voice speaks a rallying cry for action on the climate crisis. Thunberg has become a prominent political figure and has spoken at the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the UN's Katowice Climate Change Conference.

Greta puts out an eloquent urge for civil disobedience on the track, saying it’s time to rebel because the established rules fail to preserve the environment. “We must admit that we are losing this battle”, Thunberg continues, “We have to acknowledge that older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed. But homo sapiens have not yet failed.”

The activist concludes: “We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules because the rules have to be changed. Everything needs to change and it has to start today. So everyone out there – it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.”

All proceeds from the new track will go towards the activist group Extinction Rebellion, self-described as an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse. In a post on their website, they thanked both the band and the teenage pioneer for their advocacy and support.

Speaking on her contribution to the single, Thunberg said, “I’m grateful to get the opportunity to get my message out to a broad new audience in a new way. I think it’s great that The 1975 is so strongly engaged in the climate crisis. We quickly need to get people in all branches of society to get involved. And this collaboration I think is something new.”

Alongside this, The 1975’s next merchandise will also be environmentally friendly and will see unsold previous collections repurposed into new pieces of memorabilia. Following the band's example, their label, founded by Jamie Oborne, is becoming more eco-friendly by putting CDs and vinyl in degradable paper packaging.

Listen to the track in full now.

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