Gleaming and pretty and just a touch odd, “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know),” the new single from U.K. band the 1975, invites admiring comparisons to the particular brand of nineteen-eighties music, practiced by the likes of Tears for Fears and Simple Minds, that tightroped its way across the thin divide between bombastic rock and lively synth-pop. And the throwback vibe is all but undeniable. For me, though, it calls to mind some very specific practitioners of the art form that never got even the faintest whiff of Top 40 glory. The airy guitars and bouncing-ball beat are an echo of “Kidney Bingos” and other tracks from the strange, wonderful stretch of Wire’s musical history when they almost entirely abandoned the jagged punk fury of their early days in favor of pop numbers that were genial but still defiantly odd.
I’ll pledge right now that if the next single from the 1975 makes me think of “Eardrum Buzz,” I will be a fan for life.