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i sincerely apologise for the person i’ll become when 5sos announces the announcement of the announcement of their new album/single
5 Seconds of Summer has been active on social media lately. That, paired with the steady stream of studio content, has fans excited for a potential new era.
When they formed in 2011, 5sos were just teenagers with a web camera. A decade, four albums, and three solo tours later, they’ve changed management and left their record label. Years of practice developing songs and the possibility of total creative freedom have fans excited for the future of the band.
But let’s take a look back on their journey to get here.
Self Titled Era
5sos’ first album came out while they were on tour with One Direction in 2014. With their young age and proximity to One Direction the band skyrocketed into fame and success.
What was (and still is) especially impressive about their success was that a band that wasn’t straight pop was charting and getting a lot of radio play.
“She Looks So Perfect”, the lead single (and debut major-label single!) off the album features guitar and drums that are inspired by bands like All Time Low (who 5sos later worked and developed a friendship with).
5sos had something to prove with their debut album and they proved it. This album made millions of people fans of them, many of them still fans 7 years later.
This era and album may be more juvenile than their more recent albums (come on there’s a whole song about wanting to be 18), but considering their age and the age of their fans then, it was the perfect debut album for them.
And for current fans, looking back on the album now is a cute nostalgic trip about not just the band’s past, but their own, since many fans have “grown up with 5sos”.
Sounds Good Feels Good
A favorite among the fans, this album and era is one of the most emotionally vulnerable eras that the band has had.
The era started off with the lead single “She’s Kind of Hot”, a fitting single to follow the success of “She Looks So Perfect”. The song became an anthem for fans with the chorus “we are the kings and the queens of the new broken scene” and helped to propel the band into a successful second album.
The album features songs about mental health, success, and heartbreak. Nowhere is this seen better than in the song “Jet Black Heart”, arguably the most popular and remembered song from the era.
Fans will think of “Jet Black Heart” as guitarist Michael Clifford’s song. Michael sings lead vocals (something more often done by lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Hemmings) and oftentimes will perform the song solo on tours.
Because of their openness to discussing their struggles with mental illness, especially during this era, many fans find themselves pulled to the album for comfort as it is telling them they aren’t alone. Especially in the last song on the album “Outer Space/Carry On” which aims to be an anti-suicide song.
Musically, this era is pretty similar to its predecessor. They are both punk-pop albums with a heavy guitar and drum presence. But Sounds Good Feels Good sets itself apart with orchestral interludes and an overall more cinematic feel.
This era is more mature and personal than the Self Titled era but still stays true to their punk-pop roots.
“Youngblood” was definitely worth the three-year wait. The lead single “Youngblood” is their most successful song to date with over 1.1 billion streams, making it one of the most streamed songs of all time.
The album is much different from the previous ones and it is clear that the hiatus allowed them to grow as people and musicians.
The album still has rock and pop-punk influences like their older albums, but it is more produced and utilized more tech than previous albums. The band themselves said that this album helped to modernize the band and push them forward into the new era.
After three years without music the band and the fanbase had grown up. Making songs about teenage problems and young love wasn’t going to work for them, or their fans, anymore. And they adapted that.
It wasn’t clear if the album was going to work or not. If the fans would still like them after years without content, or if the fans would even like the new content they released because it was different. What makes it good is the bravery and uncertainty around releasing “Youngblood”. They came back and made something that they liked, and it paid off.
This album is the band’s most successful project to date. The album as a whole has over 2 billion streams on Spotify.
Their most recent album came out at the beginning of quarantine in March 2020. This era was defined by filmed Zoom sessions and a homemade music video for the single “Wildflower”.
This album is very similar to “Youngblood” with just a more mature and polished sound.
“CALM” has moved away from the pop-punk and pop-rock genre that the past albums utilized and have instead embraced a power pop and pop sound.
While not as successful as “Youngblood” and their only album to not chart number 1 in the US, it is easy to write “CALM” off as a flop (but let’s be honest, a band that’s “flop” is a number 2 album is thriving). But the album still provides all the sound that fans have loved. And because of its release time, it’s hard to not write off the lack of attention as a marketing failure in part due to the pandemic.
“CALM” is a great album that sets them up perfectly for a new era as they continue to mature with their sound.
Fans are hoping that with a new management team and (hopefully) complete creative control over their album, that this upcoming album will be their most successful project to date.
Publicity means everything in the entertainment business, and with new management backing them for this new era, it’s looking like 5sos could get more of it this time around.
Whenever the album comes out (hopefully sooner rather than later) it’s hard to say what we can expect. When 5sos took a break in 2014 no one could’ve predicted them coming back three years later with “Youngblood”.
While they haven’t been away for nearly as long, the independence of this album could mean another album that’s an unexpected masterpiece.
Regardless, whatever 5sos does with this next album it is clear they have a solid track record for producing great music. And with all the speculation of an album, the fans will probably be excited to hear anything from their faves.
Elena Naze is a journalism major at Emerson College and an intern at Afterbuzz TV. She loves entertainment news and is a big fan of reality TV, Marvel, and all anything musical!
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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