Youngblood

Album: Youngblood (2018)
Charted: 4 7

Songfacts®:

  • The title track of 5 Seconds of Summer's third album, "Youngblood" finds vocalist Luke Hemmings reflecting on the push and pulls of a relationship.

    Youngblood
    Say you want me, say you want me out of your life
    And I'm just a dead man walking tonight
    But you need it, yeah, you need it all of the time


    Both Hemmings and his girlfriend are stuck in a dysfunctional cycle of breaking up and getting back together. However, as the song progresses Hemmings gets increasingly bitter, as he calls out his lover for calling someone else "baby" rather than him.

    So who you been calling, baby?
    Nobody could take my place
    When you looking at those strangers, hope to God you see my face
  • A "youngblood" normally refers to someone new, usually inexperienced, who has been bought into a team or organization. However, the song seems to have a Fall Out Boy influence and the title, may be a nod to The Young Blood Chronicles a series of music videos produced by Fall Out Boy, featuring each song from their 2013 album Save Rock And Roll.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer wrote this with pop wizards Ali Tamposi ((Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)," DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber's "Let Me Love You") and Andrew Watt (Kygo featuring Selina Gomez's "It Ain't Me", Camila Cabello's "Havana"). The production was handled by Watt and frequent Post Malone collaborator Louis Bell.
  • The song reached #1 in Australia in May 2018, becoming 5 Seconds of Summer's second chart-topper in their home country following "She Looks So Perfect." It spent eight weeks at the summit before being dethroned by Drake's "In My Feelings." If "Youngblood" had spent one more week at the peak position it would have equaled the record for Australian acts leading the ARIA singles chart. (Justice Crew's "Que Sera" stayed at #1 for nine weeks in 2014).
  • 5 Seconds of Summer bassist Calum Hood explained to HMV.com the band decided to name the album after this song as it is "our young adult lives laid bare."

    Guitarist Michael Clifford added they decided on the record's title "a couple of months" after they "Youngblood." He said: "The whole album was done, but we didn't have a name. 'Youngblood' seemed to stand out, it's a really defining moment for us."

    Vocalist Luke Hemmings continued: "We had a few ideas written down, but we started playing some shows and that song really stood out. It sums up the album, how we were really feeling and you can grasp what the album is about if you listen to that song."
  • Filmed in Tokyo, the video opens with an elderly couple holding hands, preparing to face their final moments. They take a green pill enabling the husband and wife to re-live their youth for a last 24 hours. The pair are transported back to the '50s as we them (now played by Japanese artists "JOHNNY" Daigo Yamashita and Misaki Aono), dive into the Japanese Rockabilly culture.

    The clip was directed by Frank Borin (Angel Haze, The Script, Tinashe), who also shot 5SOS's "She Looks So Perfect" visual. It was inspired by a trip Borin took a decade previously in Japan, when he ventured through Yoyogi park and came across a huge group of Japanese rockabilly guys and girls.

    "Every Sunday, they were dressed to the nines in full rockabilly gear, doing their hair out in public, taping up their decades old boots, and dancing the day away to 50's music blasting on their boombox," he recalled. "Flash forward to 10 years later, 5SOS was releasing Youngblood and the band and I were collaborating on another video together. The band were really into the idea of highlighting the rockabilly crew and we hung out with them for a couple days. They took us around Toyko and gave us a peak into their world which really lent itself to the spirit of the song and ultimately became the video."
  • Drummer Ashton Irwin explained the song's concept to Genius: "It was based off those really youthful and naive promises you make the first time that you might have fallen in love," he said. "You really do make those promises, and you don't understand the depth or the actual commitment that you're speaking of, the power of the words, when you use them for the first time."

    He added regarding the song title: "Youngblood is a person whose persona is very on and off, push, and give and take, and all that kind of good stuff. It's such a visual word. You can visualize the feelings of the word as well and I think that always is what connected with me about that lyric and especially how strong it strikes in the chorus as this being kind of like an all-encompassing thing of what is Youngblood."
  • The song came easily to the writers. "The lyrics and chorus just kind of came out," Tamposi recalled to Billboard. "In the studio, me and Andrew would always say, 'Simmah down Youngblood.' It worked perfectly with the melody and just fit."
  • This was the highest-selling single of 2018 in Australia, according to charts compiler ARIA. 5 Seconds of Summer were the first homegrown act to top the End Of Year Singles tally since Australian Idol runner-up Anthony Callea did so with "The Prayer" in 2005.
  • 5 Seconds of Summer were sued in a Texas court in July 2019 by Hungary-based musicians David Henderson, David Toth and Peter Ferencz. The band was accused of copying substantial portions of "Youngblood" from their 2016 track "White Shadows."

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