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About “Sincerity Is Scary”

“Sincerity Is Scary” is a feel-good song that addresses one’s tendencies to put up a facade out of insecurity and anxiety, with the realization that this type of illusory behavior will tend to breed confusion and conflict in a relationship with others. It is a piece of social commentary on the postmodern obsession with irony and cynicism, where sincerity is often ridiculed.

The song begins with slow, heavy drums accompanied by soulful-sounding horns that lead into Matt Healy’s smooth vocals. The soothing backing of the band’s instruments and choral background seem to juxtapose Matty’s emotionally charged lyrics, which still come off as sounding carefree in the midst of such a smooth and mellow song.

Matty first made mention of the song’s title while discussing the topic of sincerity in a post-modern society with Zane Lowe during the Beats 1 premiere of the album’s second pre-released song “Love It If We Made It.”

“Sincerity Is Scary” is the third single on the album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.. The song premiered on the Beats 1 Radio Show on September 13, 2018, as Healy returned for another interview on Zane Lowe’s radio show.

  • What have the artists said about the song?

    In an interview with Zane Lowe the day of the single’s release, Matty Healy said of the song:

    ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ is about me trying to denounce all of that postmodern fear of like being real, you know? Like irony first, irony first. Make sure you’re ironic because then you can’t be judged on being a person. And I’ve become so aware of the shtick that exists within my kind of lyrical narrative as well, because obviously I love everything that I’ve done previously but now as I got older I see these kind of defense mechanisms whether they be jokes or being slightly sardonic or like he is the big emotional bit of the song but I’m not going to be really emotional. All those kind of things. I think on this record it’s slightly more, it’s just a bit more open and a bit easier, and genuinely sincere.

  • What does the song mean to you?

    The 1975:

    As I’ve not gotten older, but as I’ve grown up, as a person, I just find that it’s harder to be really sincere. Because you have to be really human and you have to be really soppy and bit of a sigh. And you have to be bit soft, do you know what I mean? And it’s easier to be ironic in the face of those situations. It’s easier to take the piss out of it. To kind of talk self-awareness and self-scrutiny and irony are kind of paramount. Or at least they’re the best defense mechanisms that you’ve got. Or like be really sardonic. And then, I suppose I just noticed myself doing that, because I think I’ve always been kind of a positive person, and I kind of wanted to denounce, a little bit, and be sincere.

  • How did the song come about?

    The 1975:

    The first day of" Sincerity Is Scary,“ when we wrote it, we were in the studio in England, in the countryside in England. It was me, George, all of us were there. Rome was playing the piano, the intro. The chords were super-dope, sort of neo-soul kind of cords and it reminded me of that kind of 9th Wonder, Jay Dilla kind of thing. And we’re so into that. And we love playing with those textures as producers, as well. Not because it’s easy but because it’s really rewarding and really rich. And you can make really calculated music that feels really human. So, it was just like a natural progression and I stand by George being one of the best drummers in the world. I give him the opportunity to do some kind of Jay Dilla beat and he’s going to run with it. So it was this really behind the beat, taking a lot of our love for modern American Gospel, like church kids, like how they play and kind of like everything being really independent and sloppy but making this really coherent thing. And then I’ve always got to find ways to make like hip-hop music, right? Because the cadence is so specific and adheres to certain rules and I don’t have a slogan voice. I could never be in Mobb Deep or go into a track with DMX, right? I don’t limit myself as an artist. But I like to do my own version of what somebody would do in that. So yeah, it’s a really fun, breezy song.

  • Are there any cameos in the music video for this song?

    Yes, there are a couple of cameos in the music video:

    No Rome, one of Matty’s closest friends, appears at 0:50.

    — Ross MacDonald, The 1975’s bass guitarist, appears at 2:35.

    — An easter egg with a girl which appears at 3:32 leads to the “A Change Of Heart” music video.

"Sincerity Is Scary" Track Info