This new album is a maturation of Brief Inquiry, which was the result of Healy reading David Foster Wallace and thinking about Wallace’s cure for a cynical culture: sincerity. Now Healy is embodying the writer’s ideals in his music rather than musing on them, and the result is more earnest than anyone might expect. 

“This record definitely takes those ideas and says, ‘Well, nihilism in your 20s is very sexy, and very cool and well done, and maybe appropriate.’ As you get a little bit older, those postmodern, exciting ideas have to — do — start making way for more traditional values, which aren’t that sexy, which aren’t that hip-shaking. They’re responsibility, adulthood, these kinds of ideas,” Healy says. “What I’m asking on this record in the context of love is, can you find true love, versus all of this irony, all of this postmodernism, all of this… I don’t want to say neoliberalism but versus the internet, versus technology? Can we find true love in a way that we were culturally in pursuit of at the beginning of the 20th century?” Well, can we find true love now? “I don’t know,” he says. “It’s really hard.”

I’d like to know what the band’s frontman means by well done in this interview. https://www.rollingstone.co.uk/music/features/the-1975-being-funny-in-a-foreign-language-new-album-interview-19940/ According to an online dictionary, it is used when someone did something skillful. Does it mean ‘clever’ in this case?

  • 2
    As a Canadian, I would find that usage almost incomprehensible in North American English. I see the band is English, though. If I try to imagine it in BE I would guess "well chosen; a good move", i.e. well-suited to a person in their 20s. Oct 1, 2022 at 12:16
  • Thank you so much for the interpretation. I didn’t know this usage of the word is not common to every English speaker.
    – whitewater
    Oct 1, 2022 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


It is all very casual, and some punctuation would help. But it is what an older person might say to a twenty-year-old nihilist.

Imagine a conversation:

Twenty-year-old: I believe in nothing. If nothing has any meaning and if we can affirm no values whatsoever, then everything is possible and nothing has any importance

Older philosopher: Yes, "well done". You probably think you are very clever and cool and sexy. But when you get older you will realise that this philosophy is juvenile.


nihilism in your 20s is very sexy, and very cool and "well done"...

If someone in their twenties says they are a nihilist, an older person might think that is cool and say, in a rather patronising way, "well done". In the same way that an older person might say "well done" to a child, for doing something age-appropriate, but juvenile.

As written it makes almost no grammatical sense, but if you suppose this to be a transcript of spoken English, you can interpret meaning.

  • Thank you so much for explaining it. That’s really helpful to me.
    – whitewater
    Oct 2, 2022 at 15:42

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .