Is anything safe from the conservative government? Your benefits, privacy, livestock, and general sense of wellbeing certainly aren't, but what about your artistic identity and personal brand? Can they co-opt those as well? Matthew Healy from The 1975 says yes. In a string of tweets earlier today, he accused the tories and David Cameron specifically of, essentially, jacking his aesthetic to sex up an EU Referendum video.
See that up there? That's an angry man. Why? Well, because in case you weren't aware, The 1975 are fucking mad on neon. A cursory Google of "The 1975 neon light" will drag up hundreds of images of their lyrics illuminated in usually soft pink lighting against emotionally charged landscapes, like a messy bed and a misty pier and stuff.
Now, for reference, here is the EU Referendum video:
Pretty The 1975-y huh? If you want it spelled out even clearer, then this fan did the legwork of gathering some stills:
But... Can they really lay claim to things written in neon piping? If anybody has the patent on that, surely it's Tracy Emin (along with messy beds). That said, it does feel like this EU referendum video and The 1975 visuals have exactly the same aesthetic. Like, if a romantically entangled couple ran across the screen followed by alternating topless and not-topless Matthew Healy's, I would not be at all surprised.
If you want to theorise about it, it could easily be a subconscious ploy to get into the minds and grab the attentions of Britain's young voters, considering The 1975 command a big enough legion of loyal young fans to send their second album top in both the US and the UK. It's like a much sneakier version of that time French President Nicolas Sarkozy's party used MGMT's "Kids" in ads without getting permission from MGMT.
Conspiracy theories aside, though, the bombshell is in the detail: the EU Referendum video was directed by Nadia Marquard Otzen, who also did The 1975's "Settle Down" back in 2014. Which essentially settles it. Yes, this video is jacking the aesthetic of the Cheshire pop rock band to sex up the Brexit debate. Unfortunately for Healy: no, the government are not to blame – as the BBC point out "the video came from the Electoral Commission - an independent organisation that isn't part of the government." Hopefully this doesn't result in a buttload of young people abstaining from the vote because "They wronged Matt Healy!"