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5 Seconds of Summer: Australian Boy Band Goes International

| Monday, April 7, 2014

5SOS_BannerWEBErin Rice

On April 1, Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) released its first ever music in the United States. Their single “She Looks So Perfect” was already No. 1 on the U.K. single charts, the first Australian band to accomplish this feat in 14 years. By the end of the week, their EP “She Looks So Perfect” would top the Canadian iTunes Chart and sit at second on the U.S. chart, just behind the Frozen Soundtrack.

Fans of One Direction will know these four boys as the band who opened for the British group on its North American tour last summer. 5SOS will also open for One Direction on its U.K.-Ireland-Europe-North American tour this summer. But don’t let this association fool you: 5SOS is definitely not One Direction.

If we are comparing bands, 5SOS has a sound close to All Time Low or Mayday Parade. The band is made up of four boys: Luke Hemmings (lead singer/guitarist), Calum Hood (bassist/vocalist), Michael Clifford (guitarist/vocalist), and Ashton Irwin (drummer/vocalist).

The four are based in Sydney, Australia, and the band began when Hemmings started posting covers on YouTube, which you can still find on their channel. Clifford and Hood attended the same school as Hemmings and contacted him about forming a band together, and when they started to look for a drummer, they found Iriwn on Facebook. By December of 2011, 5SOS as it exists today was formed.

The band released its new EP through their self-created record label “Hi or Hey Records” in conjunction with Capital Records. The digital EP includes four songs: the single “She Looks So Perfect,” “Heartache on the Big Screen,” “The Only Reason” and a cover of The Romantics’ “What I Like About You.” The physical CD version features an extra song, “Disconnected.”

The single “She Looks So Perfect” was released on the Internet in February, with a video released on Feb. 24. It was written by Clifford and Irwin in conjunction with Jake Sinclair. In an interview with MTV, the band discussed the writing of the song. When Sinclair came to the band with the idea for the song, he warned the band that it was “kind of weird.” Their response: “We love weird.”

“She Looks So Perfect” is the kind of song that gets stuck in your head, and you find yourself singing it for days afterward. The lyrics are easy to learn, and the beat is catchy.

The third track on the EP was written by Clifford and Steve Robson while the band was in L.A. According to Clifford, it is a “lyrically heavy song” and it is definitely the darkest portion of the EP. The music is slower than either of the previous songs and focuses more on the vocals behind it.

The EP ends with one of the band’s best covers to date. “What I Like About You” was originally released in 1979 by The Romantics, but 5SOS version definitely livens up the track.

On YouTube, 5SOS has several other original songs as well as covers of Ed Sheeran, Blink-182 and Wheatus. Some of the highlights of their previous work are “Heartbreak Girl” and “Out of My Limit.”

Their lyrics are definitely geared towards a teenage girl audience, hearkening back to the support they’ve received from One Direction. Still, with each member playing an instrument, self-written songs and their own record label, 5SOS is set to create their own niche in the music industry.

The band begins their headline tour, called the Stars and Stripes and Maple Syrup Tour, of the United States and Canada on Friday with a show in San Francisco. On April 17, they will perform at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago. The EP is available on iTunes and at Target.

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About Caelin Miltko

I am a senior English and Irish language major, with a minor in Journalism. I spent the last year abroad in Dublin, Ireland and am currently a Walsh RA living in Pangborn.

Contact Caelin