5 Seconds of Summer Imagine the End of the World in Apocalyptic ‘Older’ Video

The ultimate heartbreak, according to 5 Seconds of Summer, doesn’t come from relationships that ultimately fail but rather ones that endure every high and low in the name of love. Written with and featuring frontman Luke Hemmings’ fiancée Sierra Deaton, the band’s recent single “Older” explores this concept of an unavoidable end in which one person will inevitably lose another. But in the newly released video for the tender piano ballad, they’re spared from having to say goodbye to anyone. Instead, they spend their final moments soaking in peace and love before an apocalypse wipes everything out.

“If you knew the world was ending tomorrow, who would you want to spend it with? Would you be with a lover? Your children? Your best friends? Would you want to be alone?” the band asked in a statement. “The video for ‘Older’ poses this question and portrays humans of all walks of life on their last day on earth. The song is about not wanting to get older because that means you’re one day closer to either your own eventual demise or that of your loved ones. Usually, in life, the end comes without warning, but we wanted the video to capture what could happen if we knew exactly when the end was coming. We made the video with our long-time friends and collaborators, the brilliant Frank and Ivanna Borin… we hope you enjoy it.”

In the video, 5SOS narrates snapshots of people’s last living memories. For some, this meant comforting themselves in the heat of their lover’s body or slow-dancing in the living room with someone they’ve spent decades of their life with. For others, it looked more like throwing on their favorite records or watching the sunset-esque apocalyptic explosion permeate the area from a cozy spot on the beach, or way up high on a mountaintop. Even when the video cuts to children and teenagers watching the flames approach them, the ballad soothes any sense of fear: “On the day that you leave me/I’ll forever be bleeding, love/As forever comes closer/Hope the world will spin slower/I don’t wanna get older.”

“Older” arrived in September as one of the lead singles to 5 Seconds of Summer’s recently released fifth studio album 5SOS5. In a statement to Spotify, the band described the record, saying: “’Older’ was originally a voice memo of a 50’s-style love song that Luke wrote with Sierra almost as a joke, then forgot about it. Michael loved it and thought it was beautiful, so they finished it with him and Michael Pollack. The song changed a lot from the original voice memo, but the main line in the chorus was the crux of the whole song.”

They added: “This song’s theme has been sung in a few different ways over the years by many artists, but this really captures the feeling. Despite all the beauty, the ups and downs of a long-term relationship over many years, there’s inevitably going to be the worst moment of your love because one of you is going to lose each other. That’s what we tried to capture in this song.”

In a separate post shared to Instagram, Deaton further explained: “When you fall in love and commit to forever, you’re inevitably sentencing one of you to the ultimate heartbreak… an eventual existence without the other. Knowing this, and still choosing to spend the lives you have together, is in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of the human existence. If only we could slow down time and live in our happiest moments for just a little longer. That sentiment is what inspired this song.”