David Knight - 4th Feb 2014

For the video for Settle Down, The 1975's singer Matthew Healy got together with Nadia Marquard Otzen, to bring to life a story that's been very close to his heart. In fact, he's been dreaming it for years. 

The video, conceived by Matthew and directed by Nadia, is superficially a drama within the hard-bitten confines of its setting in the North-East of England. But in fact, its about the bond between two boys that transcends grim reality - evocatively shot by DoP Martijn Van BroekHuizen – and reaches into the supernatural. 

"I used to have a reoccurring dream when I was younger," says Matthew. "The narrative was loosely based, but the setting was always the surrounding areas of where my parents grew up. I think I was slightly obsessed with how certain, bleak areas of Northern England contained my history and the soul of my family, my psyche. I always felt connected and disconnected at the same time. Metaphorically and physically I would visit these places frequently as a youngster and in turn have used them as the setting to a lot of the stories in The 1975. The North East was the visual setting to my formative years.

"I suppose, like any narrative, the meaning and the connotations within the story are subjective. I’ve always been quite fascinated with the potency of same sex relationships, platonic or otherwise. I was brought up in a very open-minded environment, somewhere I felt that, whoever I was, I would be accepted. With this understanding I was also very aware of others, school friends, acquaintances - whom, due to where we lived, probably didn’t have such a comfortable place to grow up. We were unaffected and affected by taboos and the small-minded at the same time.  I’ve dreamt the story of these two boys on countless occasions - every time drawing a different conclusion on its meaning.

"With ‘Settle Down’ I wanted to make a story about the extension of that dream, a video that explores love, a video that was as fantastical.

"Upon meeting Nadia, I told her about my dream. We sat for hours looking through pictures and talking - it was decided in those moments. We were just to film my dream. The process of making this video was so intensely exciting for me as I was finally working through and figuring out exactly what this place, this story and these characters meant to me. I think now that I understand it. But I’m totally open to suggestions / interpretations."

Nadia Marquard Otzen:

"Matty had quite a clear concept in his head of the kind of story he would like to tell in this video. Not a regular love story, but rather that bond and connection you have between friends.

"The video is the metaphorical conception of that. About finding that other half which completes you. About breaking free from feeling trapped and isolated in a world where everybody seem to be in on doing you harm and deliberately keeping some looming secret from you. It's about ultimately meeting and connecting with that other human being who you have always sensed was there, and at that moment you meet the world as you know it dies away."

PRO Credits


DirectorNadia Marquard Otzen
Production CompanyAcademy Films
ProducerLiz Kessler
Director of PhotographyMartijn Van Broekhuizen
Line ProducerKarl Hall
Casting directorCorinna Bonnicelli
Art DirectorLisa O'Grady
StylistEmma Savill
StylistLaura Aitman
EditorSimon Hargood
EditorDavid Stevens
Editing companyThe Assembly Rooms
ColouristRichard Fearon
Grading companyMPC
PostLee Watson
CommissionerEmily Tedrake

David Knight - 4th Feb 2014

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