5 Seconds of Summer Opens up in C A L M

5 Seconds of Summer's new album C A L M debuted at the top of the U.S and UK charts.

5 Seconds of Summer

5 Seconds of Summer’s new album C A L M debuted at the top of the U.S and UK charts.

Claire Jackering, Sports Editor

The Australian band, 5 Seconds of Summer, featuring lead singer Luke Hemmings, guitarist Michael Clifford, bassist Calum Hood, and drummer Ashton Irwin, have grown more than ever since their start on Youtube in 2011. With their second album since their two-year hiatus debuting at first on the UK charts, C A L M, the band has opened up to fans and poured their heart and soul into these 12 songs. 

5 Seconds of Summer’s fourth album, C A L M, released on March 27, shows the band’s capabilities of growing and evolving personally and as a band while continuing the pop-rock genre. The name of the album stemmed from a commonly used acronym by fans using the first initial of each member’s names, Calum, Ashton, Luke, and Michael. The album has been labeled the band’s “coming-of-age album” by Hemmings. 

The leading song, Red Desert, reflects on the band’s home country of Australia. Along with the use of drums paired with harmonies, the song displays their inspiration for the band’s more recent success in the music industry through the lyrics, “Red, red desert, heal our blues/I’d dive deeper for you/what a blessing to feel your love.” The band’s homage to Australia conveys their love for the country and everything they accomplished before their current success and influence on today’s music.

From Red Desert, there is a smooth transition to the tender sound of No Shame. With the band’s upcoming tour named after this song, the lyrics convey a self-reflective tone on how popularity and attention in the media all around the world can easily take over their thoughts and actions through, “I only light up as cameras are flashing/Never enough and no satisfaction/Got no shame/I love the way you’re screaming my name.” After all their tours, chart-toppers, and other successes, it is important to be able to recognize problems through their music in this way. 

One of the most popular songs from the record, Old Me, written by Hemmings and Irwin, showcases how the group has grown and evolved through their music from their start in 2011. The lyrics portray gratitude to the members’ past selves and everything they taught them for where they are now, “Shout-out to the old me and everything you showed me/Glad you didn’t listen when the world was trying to slow me.” During the music video for this song, the band members are shown with the younger versions of themselves and the inspiration they had for the beginning of the band.

The first single released from the album, Easier, from May 2019, showcases Hemmings’s evolution of vocals throughout this album. The frequent high riffs in the song along with Hood’s bass lines show all the various skills the band is able to present together. 

Following the release of Easier, the next single to come out was Teeth. Featured on the album for season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, Teeth, reflects on difficult past relationships of the band members through the lyrics, “Some days, you’re the best thing in my life/Sometimes when I look at you, I see my wife/Then you turn into somebody I don’t know/And you push me away.” Besides the lyrics, the bass-heavy style and rhythm give the song a rock-like sound.

Another one of the most popular songs on the album, Wildflower, is the only song from the record to not be primarily sung by Hemmings; instead, Hood shows off his vocals. On the first time hearing the track, the harmonies that begin the song instantly reflect the style of Queen’s music. This inspiration may have sprung from 5 Seconds of Summer’s cover of Killer Queen for the 2019 movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. Overall, the style of the song seems to be inspired by the 80’s pop and portrays a mature, contemporary theme while still accommodating past teen-pop styles. 

The second half of the album conveys the softer, more somber, side of the album. Starting with Best Years, the lyrics and tone of the song portray what might be playing during the first dance of a wedding. The lyrics, “But darling, the future’s better than yesterday/I wasted so much time on people that reminded me of you/Gave you a million reasons to walk away…I’ll give you the best years,” reflect on what the future may hold.  

Similar to Teeth, Not in the Same Way, also reflects on how past relationships may not have been healthy through the lyrics, “Rip my heart out and leave/On the floor, watch me bleed/I love you, you love me/But not in the same way.” 

Next, a happier, less somber song, Lover of Mine, written by Hemmings and his girlfriend, fellow artist Sierra Deaton, describes that though previous relationships may have not ended well or healthy, now is the time to get it right, “When I take a look at my life and all of my crimes/You’re the only thing that I think I got right/I’ll never give you away/’Cause I already made, already made that mistake.” In their current relationship, they have already learned from their mistakes and know what is right.

The next two tracks shift to a darker tone, Thin White Lies and Lonely Heart portray the loneliness and distrust in previously unhealthy relationships. With heavy drums in Thin White Lies and harmonies throughout both songs, the message of distrust along with loneliness is very evident.

To end off the album, the lovely minimalist ballad for High again showcases Hemmings’s impressive vocal range. The limited use of instruments and sole use of an acoustic guitar allows for the lyrics to speak for themselves more than if there were heavy instruments in the background. As the song and album conclude, the theme of letting go and moving on is conveyed through the lyrics, “Today, I’ve called to tell you that I’m changing/But I don’t think you have enough respect to see me try.” 

Overall, C A L M is an impressive post-hiatus, coming of age album from 5 Seconds of Summer that showcases all forms of the band members through their lyrics. The future of the music industry looks bright for the Australian band.