Late Wednesday night, Fifth Harmony made the announcement their fans had been waiting on for months: Their second studio album, titled 7/27, will drop May 20.
Fortunately, we don’t have to wait that long to hear the group’s new sound: “Work From Home,” the collection’s infectious first single, was released Friday morning.
With slinking beats and playfully sexy lyrics about convincing your partner to skip the boardroom for the bedroom, “Work From Home” sounds like the sultrier cousin of the group’s 2015 smash “Worth It.”
It was an obvious first choice for a single, 5H’s Normani Kordei explains to EW. “[‘Work From Home’] just made sense after ‘Worth It’ because they have similar styles, but they’re still different,” she says. And just creatively, we think it’s a really cool song. It’s chill, it’s not too much. The beat just rides. There’s something electrifying about it. It’s sexy, but it’s cool.”
Rapper Ty Dolla $ign, who is featured on the track, contributes to its fresh sound as well: “He changed his melodies, and just completely brought it to life,” Kordei says.
Though “Work From Home” might not seem like a wild departure sonically, Kordei promises a more cohesive sound and theme across the album, especially after spending time in the studio with hitmakers like Max Martin and Stargate. “We felt like our last album had a lot of different types of songs, with different energies,” Kordei says. “But this one has a story. It has the same vibe, the same coolness, but each song has its own personality.”
The singers themselves have matured, too: “We change, as people, every single day — and even in our relationships with each other. I think that will definitely reflect in the music. Even our voices have changed, tremendously, since the last album.”
Lyrically, 7/27‘s songs will be more personal, honing in on where the women are in their lives. Part of the reason for this may be because 5H members Dinah Jane Hansen and Lauren Jauregui have said they’re getting more involved in the songwriting process. But it’s also a testament to how close the group has gotten with the producers and writers they work with. “We’ve been able to give them input as far as exactly what we want, so they kind of started from the ground up and went based on conversations that we had,” Kordei says. “I think being in the room with them and constantly hanging out with them, even outside the studio [has helped]. They know through conversations exactly what we’re going through and what we want to say, and they know how to deliver it for us.”
The stamp on that delivery is the album’s title 7/27, a nod to the date the band was formed. “We were going back and forth between different titles, and I thought it would be cool, visually, to do a number of some sort,” Kordei says, noting that it was Jauregui’s idea to use the group’s anniversary. “Once you think about what we’ve been through since that day, all the way up until now, I think that is so, so dope. It’s a reminder of where you come from and where you are now, but it always takes you back to the start.”
“The adrenaline’s pumping,” she says of the album’s impending release. “We’re excited for everything to start up. It just feels like we’re being reborn.”
Hear Fifth Harmony’s new single featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Work From Home,” below. 7/27, available for pre-order now, is due out May 20.