The British band debuted their version of the self-reflective chart-topper while visiting BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge on Monday (November 26). Speaking about his cover choice, frontman Matty Healy said, “I want to dedicate it to the artist of the song, who’s become, I think, the main protagonist — is that the right word? — in most people’s lives. The person I see spoken about most, and somebody I’ve started to really care about for some reason. … She’s had a right old tough time and I like her a lot. I think she’s cool. And she’s got a great voice. And I don’t. So I’m gonna sing one of her songs.”
Even with lyrics so expressly personal to Grande — ones that reference her exes and her parents — The 1975 managed to make the song their own, giving it a synthy, soulful arrangement that prominently featured gospel singers to cover for Healy’s supposedly “not-great” voice.
Grande, for her part, showed The 1975 some love on Twitter, retweeting their performance with a heart emoji, as well as Healy’s tweet about her that said, “We (and I mean society as a whole) fucking love you.”
The 1975’s Live Lounge visit also included performances of “Sincerity Is Scary” and “It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You),” two tracks from A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, their new album out Friday. Which will arrive first: that album or Grande’s “Thank U, Next” video? Stay tuned!