Music

The 1975 and Greta Thunberg's rebellious spirit on their new climate change track is exactly what we need

The 1975 and Greta Thunberg have collaborated on a new track, for which the 16-year-old activist penned an essay about climate change. This is pop music at its most powerful

It’s almost as if Greta Thunberg and The 1975 planned it: you know, releasing a song about climate change on what’s set to be the UK’s hottest day of the year so far and, potentially, ever. When I walked out of my front door this morning I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s like being on holiday!” Now, after listening to The 1975 and Thunberg’s new track, which is simply titled “The 1975”, I've been reminded that, actually, it’s more like we’re facing a “climate and ecological crisis”. Walking out the door sans jacket is nice and everything, but the real cost of being able to leave it at home every day is far too much to pay.

“We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet, unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things,” says Thunberg over a tranquil instrumental that would probably be quite calming were it played in a sauna. “We must admit that we are losing this battle. We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed. But Homo sapiens have not failed,” she continues. “Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around.”

The 16-year-old activist goes on to explicitly warn her listeners about the urgency of climate change, painting it as a “black and white” issue “because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival”. It’s powerful stuff for pop music, but this is the world we live in, where teenagers and pop stars care more about saving the planet than politicians do. Greta Thunberg has already made a name for herself globally, having inspired young people to protest climate change worldwide, spoken at the UN and even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We’re all well aware of her astronomical influence, the generation of activists she’s mobilised, the political feathers she’s ruffled, and The 1975’s endorsement of her will only make her more powerful.

Collaboration, as Thunberg says, is key to tackling climate change and this track sees two megawatt stars from music and politics come together to shout their message even louder than before. This is not a song to dance around to, nor is it a song to pacify radio listeners on their commutes. This song is a wake-up call and we all need to start singing (or chanting) along. We can no longer rely on people like Thunberg to solve the problem for us. If we want to ensure our planet is habitable for generations to come, we must work together.

All of the proceeds for the track will be going to Extinction Rebellion, the climate change activist group that saw more than 1,000 of its members get arrested over eleven days of protests in Central London this April, and it is indeed their spirit of defiance in the face of indifference that Thunberg hopes to inspire in The 1975’s listeners. “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,” she says as the track draws to a close and the spa-day instrumental begins to swell ever so slightly. “So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience.” The music stops and with it a sense of calm vanishes. “It is time to rebel.”

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Now read:

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