Boys Like Girls are ending their 11-year break with “Blood and Sugar,” a poppy new single on which singer Martin Johnson comes to terms with the fact that while boys may like girls, girls may not like boys back. He starts the song with, “Well, she said she’d only take me/If I were the only man alive” and seems to get more confused from there. “Our love could be a symphony,” he sings, “But she’d rather let it die than be together.” At least he makes up for his lack of social graces with a catchy chorus: “Even though the girl’s a looker, we’re only blood and sugar, right?”
In the music video, Johnson sings the song, and his bandmates sit for screen tests harmlessly enough until hands start reaching out to punch them in the face repeatedly. A Les Paul even bludgeons Johnson’s face at one point. By the end, everyone looks bruised and bloody (no sugar here) — which is probably just deserts for continuing to harass this poor woman and for failing biology class (because really, we’re only oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, and phosphorus, right?).
Johnson, of course, proved that he already knew this in a statement about the song. “Thematically the song is fairly simple, an empty calorie relationship that’s so delicious you don’t care,” he said. “You’re willing to deal with the crash. It continues to beat you down, yet you keep coming back for more pain … almost like you’ve learned to love it.”
“Why this obsession?” he continued. “We’re only skin and bone. Humans. Just blood and sugar, really. I think everyone has an infatuation with something bad for them: Cigarettes. Sports gambling. Porn. Internet validation. Pills that change the way you feel. Buying too many shoes. I know I spend a lot of time trying to fill the empty hole where drugs used to be. I spend most of the time trying to fill that hole with ‘perfection.’ But in the end…nobody’s perfect. Hey. we’re only blood and sugar, right?” (Yes, and the aforementioned biochemical composition.)
Boys Like Girls plan on releasing more music and tour dates in the near future.
The band formed in Boston in 2005 and released their self-titled debut, which went gold, a year later. Their 2009 album, Love Drunk, was a Top 10 hit thanks to the singles “Love Drunk” and “Two Is Better Than One.” The singles from their 2012 album, Crazy World, didn’t make the same impact, and the album petered out at 134 on the Billboard 200. Johnson later focused on writing songs for others, including Ariana Grande, Pentatonix, and Avril Lavigne.