teen corner

What Is 5SOS? Your New Boy Band, Explained

There are some days when being Vulture’s self-appointed teen expert is a pure joy; there are other days when I feel like a geriatric trying to understand text messages. Today is one of the latter days, because we are here to address 5 Seconds of Summer — better known as 5SOS — the up-and-coming boy band of these confusing times. The answers to some pressing 5SOS questions, below.

Wait, what are they called again?
5 Seconds of Summer, or 5SOS for short. You can’t be typing “5 Seconds of Summer” out all the time, you know?

How am I supposed to tell them apart from all the other boy bands?
Well, they’re Australian, which is new (though they still have the accent thing to coast on). And they play instruments — like, real ones. Guitars and drums. They are a boy rock band.

Yes. Here is their lead single, “She Looks So Perfect,” which has the overly capitalist (but undeniably catchy) chorus: “She looks so perfect standing there/in my American Apparel underwear.” If teens still used away messages, that would be on so many away messages right now.

But don’t teens hate guitars?
No, that’s late pesky whipper-snappers, who like pop music, and early pesky whipper-snappers, who like vaguely electronic pop music. Teens are actually strangely accepting of rock-inflected music: see: fun., One Direction’s latest album, or the inexplicable popularity of Ed Sheeran.

If you say so. How did 5SOS get so popular?
As always, the answer is “YouTube.” 5SOS first came to prominence in Australia after a cover of Chris Brown and Justin Bieber’s “Next to You.” They found a drummer, got signed, and then — their big break — One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson tweeted out a link to this video. Then OneD recruited 5SOS as their opening act for the Take Me Home tour last year. If you accompanied a small child to a One Direction concert last year, this is who was playing while you bought T-shirts.

On a scale of [one heart emoji] to [40 heart emoji], how much do teens love them?
Enough to camp out for two days outside the Best Buy Theater for their American tour. Granted, the Best Buy is not a huge theater, and their Twitter follower count is only in the low millions, but their American fans are devoted.  (And, as always, they are huge in the U.K.) So let’s say [12 emoji hearts], with room to grow.

Am I going to be hearing this song all summer?
It seems like they’re pushing for Song of Summer status — the title is right there in their abbreviation. (SoS, see?) But “She Looks So Perfect” hasn’t had a chart breakthrough yet, and the thing about boy bands is that the music is always secondary; the appeal is watching five cute boys with swoopy hair be charming together. So maybe it will stay on the fringes?

Do you actually believe that?
No, sorry. American Apparel is gonna get a lot of free advertising this summer.

What Is 5SOS? Your New Boy Band, Explained