5 Seconds of Summer
5 Seconds of Summer is constantly expanding their sound. (Image via Instagram)

Change Isn’t ‘Easier’: An Exploration of 5 Seconds of Summer’s Evolving Sound

As the band’s members have grown, their sound has changed. Some fans aren’t happy about that.

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5 Seconds of Summer

As the band’s members have grown, their sound has changed. Some fans aren’t happy about that.

Two weeks ago, Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer released their new single “Easier,” and fans were ecstatic. With over 13 million views on the official music video so far, the band has great potential with this track.

“Who Do You Love,” their latest collaboration with The Chainsmokers, has been on the American Top 40 charts for the last 14 weeks and currently sits at No. 11. “Youngblood,” the title song off their last album, was a number one hit and has been on the chart for the past 48 weeks. With the massive success of their last album and lead single, it likely was intimidating for them to release new music. In celebration of their latest single, let’s explore 5 Seconds of Summer’s history and how their sound has evolved over time.

5 Seconds of Summer started by posting original music and covers on YouTube, gaining a small following on their channel. Their sound was raw, with mostly acoustic guitars and drummer Ashton Irwin making beats on a box. Without a huge technical budget or any mixing in the sound booth, the boys still managed to make some great music and gain followers.

In November 2012, at the height of One Direction mania, Louis Tomlinson tweeted the acoustic video of their original song “Gotta Get Out,” saying that he was a fan. Currently, the tweet has nearly 100,000 likes and nearly as many retweets. Directioners, among many others, started to gain interest in the band, and their following exploded.

Their first self-titled album was released in 2014, with the song “She Looks So Perfect” becoming a global hit. As a fun, summer rock anthem, the song went to number one in several countries and placed on the American Top 40 charts. The single, along with the album as a whole, was inspired by Green Day and Blink-182 but added a sense of fun that those bands tended to lack. With strong guitars and drums, “She Looks So Perfect’s” rocky sound set it apart from the popular music being made at the time.

With lyrics pertaining to girls, heartbreak and love, some saw the artists as a mere a boy-band that played instruments, and their association with One Direction didn’t help that image. Others saw them as a wannnabe pop-punk resurgence band that missed the mark. In response, the boys of 5 Seconds of Summer always considered themselves to simply be a band, rejecting boy-band label. Regardless of what some critics said, fans endlessly supported the band.

Their second album, “Sounds Good, Feels Good,” was released in 2015 and used the same blend of pop-punk heard in the first album. Their lyrics diversified, talking about more than just girls they couldn’t get and not being the cool kid in school. Although the album was generally successful, the lead single, “She’s Kinda Hot,” was not the same global sensation that “She Looks So Perfect” had been (although the song did chart higher in the United States). Some might consider this disappointing, but fans still loved the sound of the album.

After their world tour promoting their second album, 5 Seconds of Summer took some time to release their next work, “Youngblood,” which had a vastly different sound than their previous creations. Moving away from the pop-punk influences, though still maintaining all their instruments, 5 Seconds of Summer moved into a more EDM-centered sound. With a mix of both rock instruments and electronic sounds, the album continues to be distinct from most of the music released today.

The title track was a sensation, and not only did it succeed with critics and fans, the song lit up the charts and still remains there today. The band’s lyrics became more complex and involved more mature themes, which many interpreted as the transition from a boy-band to an adult group.

There new single, “Easier,” builds off the shift from their third album and expands it even further. With a heavy beat and electronic influences throughout the music, the song moves closer toward the EDM side of the musical spectrum. Though it still maintains elements of their pop-rock roots, it is a far cry from the first album. Even the vocals resemble those of many electronic songs, featuring a high falsetto and raw feel. Clearly, the members of the band are still evolving their sound and developing as artists. As the boys write the majority of their songs, there is still a lot to expect from their abilities.

With plenty of tour dates set for 2019, it will be interesting to see if the band releases an album that features their new single. Although nothing formal has yet been stated, the band has confirmed that they have been in the studio working on new music. With great reception for their new single and latest album, it would only make sense for the band to release a new album within the year.

Consider checking out 5 Seconds of Summer’s music and listening to how much they have grown through their sound.

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