After the global success of summer bop Youngblood, it’s hard to believe someone else can follow up with a better record, much less the same people who recorded the game-changing, unique single Easier. Since the creation of the Australian band called 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) in 2011, they have revolutionized themselves from the boyish band playing light tunes to creating songs with deep, mature sounds that change with every track.
This is especially evident with the four singles that have been dropped recently to tease their new album, CALM. Their singles, “Easier,” “Teeth,” “No Shame,” and “Old Me” each hold different meanings, and are all amazing songs despite not sticking to one sound, which is something I notice throughout every album they have; they never cease to amaze me.
Their first single, “Easier,” released in May of 2019 after wrapping up a chaotic, epic tour with the Chainsmokers, poking fun at fans, myself included, who were not “mentally prepared” for the new music that was to come. The song, inspired by the rock band Nine Inch Nails, provides eerie tones and a heavy bass line before the vocals begin. The sound takes time getting used to, as 5SOS had managed to stay a pop band for the last four years, as well as the fact that the Imagine Dragons frontman, Ryan Tedder, and contemporary solo artist, Charlie Puth, who are best known for their genre-breaking composing assisted in the making of the song. The lyrics tell a story, one about a toxic relationship. Though the lyrics implement a sad vibe, though it is definitely one to jam to. If you’re looking for a more rock feel, 5SOS has released Live From The Vault, a series in which the band plays their music live, reinterpreting the music in a unique way. So far, Easier and Teeth are the only ones with Live From The Vault version, but the others will be available on Youtube to stream and on the deluxe version of the album.
“Teeth,” their most successful single on this album to date, with over thirty-one million streams on the music video, a place in IHeart Radio’s top 40, and a feature in the hit Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is definitely one to remember. Many are able to describe it as “rooding, ominous industrial rock, and nu-metal,” and it’s also a bop. Upon listening to all four singles back to back, I had realized the album goes deeper into their emotions, as it implements a theme of toxic relationships, due to 5SOS’ lead singer Luke Hemmings expressing his feelings and trauma of his own toxic relationship back in 2015. Listening to the beginning, the repeating bass line sounds like the opening of Stranger Things, but as the rest of the song goes it, it left me in awe as the band takes their sound to another level, with falsettos being casually thrown in the song. It’s also worth mentioning that the bridge surprised me so much that I gasped loudly and fell off my chair, disrupting the public.
After a few months with no new music, the news struck as an Instagram post from the band account posted a quote, and less than 24 hours later, No Shame dropped. The theme of toxicity reoccurs within the form of social media, in which the band nor any celebrity will do anything to keep themselves in the shadow of fame. It sounds a little more upbeat than their other singles, and the way their pronunciation is said is distinct. Though the music video is peculiar, telling the story of different band members and how toxicity in the media has affected them, the song still leaves you with tingles and a sense to listen to it on a loop.
Finally, fans were left a special treat from the band when almost two weeks after the release of No Shame, a new single by the name of Old Me dropped, with a lyric video filled with personal photos of the boys. The song holds emotional meaning to us fans and Hemmings himself, as it is a letter to himself from when he was younger, in his toxic relationship for two years, leading up to the point where he was mentally broken and a completely different person. But now, he is able to embrace himself happily and is able to get to know who he really is, embarking on a journey with his best friends. The song starts right away with lyrics about a past of drinking and other harmful things, which leaves you in a sad state, but the chorus lightens you up and lets you know he’s gonna be alright. The music video is even more emotional and cryptic, as the band members are on a train, with each stop celebrating their milestones, and in the end, they feature flashbacks and home videos of the four performing, and their final stop opens to their performance at FireFight Australia, with a sold-out crowd of 83,000 people, showing them they have truly made it to where they want to be successful.
This album is sure to be a thriller, and with these new songs out in the open to stream, you’d think you would have an idea of what this album is all about, but in reality, you have no idea what to expect as they give you the run-through, ranging from slow love ballads to emotional memories with their fans. The rest of the album will be available to stream and buy in stores on March 27.