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One Direction: the lead up to a grand finale

One Direction has released their third single and first EP off their upcoming album “Made in the A.M.” which debuts on November 13, 2015. This will be the band’s first album since losing former band member Zayn Malik back in March 2015.

One Direction – now a four piece consisting of Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan – has taken the world by storm and earned the title of “biggest boyband in the world” in a short time period of just five years.

The past year has been an emotional roller coaster for the band, but they plan to end it off on a high note with an album that has topped the iTunes charts from pre-sale alone.

The newest single “Perfect” was released Friday, October 16, kicking off a crazy week for the band.

Fans were especially ecstatic about the new “ironic love song”  because it was written by band members Styles and Tomlinson who had never publicly released a song together.

The song starts off with Tomlinson singing, “I might never be your knight in shining armor,” which then reflects into the song.

“Perfect” is incredibly different from any other songs the band has previously put out due to its lyrics alone. The song tells a love story filled with “secret little rendezvous” and “midnight driving with the windows down,” but how he is “not good at making promises.”

“…I suppose it’s not a standard love song. It’s kind of more about for the moment and less about marriage and sappy stuff,” says Tomlinson to BBC.

Other than showcasing a one night stand rather than a thoughtful relationship, the song is different because of its sound. “Perfect” shows how much the band has grown and matured throughout the years, and have lost their “bubblegum boyband” sound. They have also lost a  former band member who played a significant role vocally in their past albums.

The loss of Malik proved not to affect the level of music being created, as all three of the singles released without him have made it to the number one spot on the iTunes chart.

This past year has proven emotional and hectic for not only the band, but the fans. Since March, the band has been a part of many scandals, along with dropping bombshells of their own.

Along with the release of new music, One Direction has also announced that they will be taking an indefinite hiatus following the release of their fifth album “Made in the A.M.” in November, as opposed to touring the songs, for the first time.

Since being formed on the UK’s “X-Factor” in 2010, One Direction has worked a non-stop cycle of albums and tours with minimal short breaks in between.

The current world  tour, “On the Road Again,” for the fourth album “Four” is scheduled to end October 31, 2015 in Sheffield, England.

The tour began February 7 in Sydney, Australia and consisted of seven legs with seven shows in Australia, 13 shows in Asia, three shows in Africa, 33 shows in Europe, and 24 shows in North America. The band will perform a total of 80 shows throughout the seven legs.

The upcoming hiatus will be their first long-term break since 2010.

The band plans to focus on individual projects during the break, spend time with family, and go on a “lads holiday” together.

“They desperately deserve a break. They are still young boys and their life has been non-stop roller coaster since they started. They need to spend time with their families, they need to relax if they want to be able to continue because I think if you push them too far and too hard they will break,” says sophomore Giana Matarangelo.

The band said this will be another reason the album will sound different because they are more focused on making the best music they can as opposed to making anthemic songs designed to be played for stadiums full of fans.

That has not stopped the fans from learning the songs and singing them back at concerts. The day “Perfect” was released, a whole stadium was able to sing along.

Since the sudden release of the new single, it seems that the amount of drama is increasing by the day.

The band cancelled their first show in five years on October 20 in Belfast, Ireland due to the alleged illness of band member Payne. Sources close to Payne revealed he was hospitalized due to kidney problems, but is feeling much better.

Prior to that, it was revealed that Tomlinson is rumored to be the father of Brianna Jungwirth’s baby girl. Jungwirth, however, is unclear as to who the father is as Tomlinson is only one of the men she was involved with at the time of conception.

Other sources say the reason the show was cancelled was because Jungwirth went into premature labor.

On the same day of the concert’s cancellation, as if to form a distraction, the band released their first ever EP with four songs, and a music video for their single, “Perfect.”

The music video had a black and white theme and showed the four boys in various scenarios in hotel rooms.

“I watched it [the “Perfect” music video] way too many times,” laughs freshman Maggie Kapoor. “I think this video was the best yet because it showed a different side to the band, like the real side. It showed them fooling around and having fun and I loved watching them smile.”

The new EP has four songs, including three different versions of “Perfect” and a new song entitled “Home.”

“Home” has quickly become a fan favorite because of the difference in its sound. Fans have taken to Twitter saying they would not recognize it as One Direction if they heard it on the radio, and they are so proud of the maturity the song displays.

Styles spoke to the French publication “Coup de Main” about how different the song writing process is, along with the sound of the music six months after Malik left.

“I think it was obviously different, the process, because there was one less of us. But at the same time it didn’t change…in terms of the writing of the album…Obviously the album sounds a little bit different since you’re missing a voice that was there before, but we’ve very much grown stronger,” says Styles.

Over the past five years, the band has matured not only musically, but as people, and it reflects in their music and fans.

The fans, who have grown with them, have continued to be supportive through every up and down the band has put them through. Yet, Styles confessed, they are always nervous when putting out a new album.

“I think obviously everyone when they write, they draw from personal experiences, you’re putting yourself out there so there’s a vulnerability to putting something that you’ve made out. The same as anyone else,” says Styles.

As if releasing an album was not enough, the band is releasing it on the same day as their friend, and major competitor, Justin Bieber.

“There’s no need for a fight,” explained Horan, referring to the fights on twitter  between the two fan bases. “We just happen to be releasing our albums on the same day. It’s happened to us before….”

With the suspense of the album’s release increasing by the day, it is sure to hit the top of the charts and become a fan favorite like all the others.

“It is almost as if they are cramming in as much as they can before they go on their break. I feel like One Direction are trying to make up for the time they won’t be here, which is incredibly sad to think about. It’s like their grand finale,” says sophomore Alexandra Beagan.

After an emotional 2015 for the band and the fans, the album promises a good end to the year.

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