Only a week ago, 5 Seconds of Summer roared back after a few years with the funky pop song "Want You Back" (not a Haim cover, though it hasn't prevented fans' imaginations from running wild). The new song seems to be the beginning of a new chapter for the band, also indicated by their more polished wardrobe. That likely means that more brand new music, including their third LP, can't be far away.
And in the meantime, they've taken to dropping new versions of other people's music. This time, it's a stripped-down, acoustic take on "The Middle," the oceanic, kitchen-sink team-up between Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey from January.
Without the benefit of gargantuan synthesizer noises and layered vocal tracks, the four 5SOS guys link their voices together to make their own wall of sound, with Luke Hemmings trading off lead duty with Michael Clifford.
The choice makes sense, given the slick, decidedly pop sound of "Want You Back," a slight departure from the more pop-punk rumblings of their first two albums. Clifford told Billboard at the end of 2017 that the new 5SOS would be about capturing the sound of the moment now but with a noticeable rock flair.
"It's like taking music where it's at now, and putting our spin on it — making that sound unique. And it's good," he said. "It's not necessarily more electronic; it's not just rock... That's the thing with rock and punk music — it's always mainly been about energy, you know what I mean?"
Wherever 5SOS are headed, this cover is likely a signpost.