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Time Travel to ‘2011’ With 5SOS … Or Just Cry With Us Here in 2021

Time Travel to ‘2011’ With 5SOS … Or Just Cry With Us Here in 2021

5SOS 2011

It wasn’t 2011 when I first discovered 5 Seconds of Summer. It was 2012. It was one month before I turned 14 years old, and I was in a band (don’t ask) whose biggest achievement was playing ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ in the produce section of a grocery store. But it was June, school had just ended for the year, and my summer break was stretching out before me like it only can when you’re a child and don’t understand that summers don’t last forever. The Unplugged EP was my first listen to the band, and it felt like I had fallen down the proverbial rabbit’s hole into a new music genre and a new favorite artist.

I spent my birthday that year falling deeper. I followed the band on social media, watched their YouTubes, and spent all of my time memorizing their songs and plucking faithfully at my bass in an attempt to be more like them. I dyed my hair like Michael, I wore bandanas like Ashton, I played bass like Calum, and I was as shy as Luke seemed to be from a million miles away on my computer screen.

Image Source: 5 Seconds of Summer on Facebook

Fast forward nine years to 2021, and I’m still here. I’m a little older, heavier, less dazzled by life in general, but I’m still here. I’m still following the band, I’m still memorizing their lyrics, and I’m still plucking away (miserably – don’t you judge me) at my bass guitar. But the major difference, in my opinion, is how close I feel to a band I’ve never had the honor or privilege to know. And that has everything to do with the band itself and the way they constantly try to reach out to their fans and give back to them. Such is their new single ‘2011,’ a masterpiece of nostalgia that takes us Bill & Ted style through the past ten years at a warp speed of three minutes and seventeen seconds. 

5SOS 2011
Image Source: Andy Deluca

Through the magic that is 5SOS, the band has managed to encapsulate the sounds, lyrics, and even song titles of previous eras into ‘2011’ in a way that seems to flow effortlessly from my speakers and right into my brain. I’ll be singing this in the shower, the car, at Christmas dinner (who needs carols?), and everywhere in between. Calum‘s and Michael‘s vocals shine here, asking when they got so jaded and if they can go back to the year they formed. They bring a melancholy that I’m not sure if they meant but that I relate to completely. I’m not crying. You are.

And while there are more qualified critics who can break down the song for their readers and probably notice things about it technically or lyrically, I’m not that person. I’m a fan who recognizes that this song represents something so much deeper than a new single or the genius of a band who managed to blend their sound evolution in such a successful and artistic way. This song represents the fact that this band recognizes their fans in ways that most artists never will. This song is a dedication to fans like me: fans who have never been “noticed” or “followed” or been offered the instant gratification that social media has trained us is required for validation. This song is a celebration of the birth of the band and the growth they’ve experienced over the past decade.

This song tells 5SOS fans everywhere that this band sees them. We grew up together, 5 Seconds of Summer and me. And here we are in 2021, singing about a pivotal year for all of us because, without the birth of 5SOS, I’m not sure I’d be writing this article. The Honey POP! was formed because of this band, and there are countless stories like mine from fans across the globe. 5SOS didn’t create a fandom; they created a family. And family is not something you ever let go of.

Image Source: Supplied

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the birth of the band, and they continue to give back to us with ‘2011,’ which is available for streaming on all platforms or by clicking here, and the Livestream they’re airing in just a few short hours at 2 pm PT/5 pm ET on their YouTube or by clicking here. See you in the YouTube chat, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be there, ten years in and crying while the same band that has managed to make us laugh, cry and roll our eyes for the past decade pull whatever new stunt they have planned (it better not be wall painting. I’m just saying).

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Featured Image Source: Andreea Farcas

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