After a long break, the boyband is back with The Good Days and Bad Ones, which showcases their maturity and songwriting skill

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Why Don't We
Credit: Pamela Littky

It's Why Don't We's world and we're just living in it!

The five-piece boyband — comprising Daniel Seavey, Corbyn Besson, Zach Herron, Jonah Marais and Jack Avery — took a step aside for a much-needed break in 2020. Now, they're back with their best work yet: The Good Times and The Bad Ones.

"It felt good to really be able to talk about some real stuff from our lives directly," Besson, 22, tells PEOPLE. "With a lot of our music in the past, it was written for us. We loved it but it wasn't as personal to us as this music is. It feels super different, to have it be this personal and have it come from our experience."

"I feel vulnerable in a way that I've never felt before because so many people are going to be hearing my stories and our stories," he adds. "I think that's going to be cool."

The 10-track record features a more mature, rock-focused sound — like on singles "Lotus Inn" and "Slow Down" — compared to the boys' debut, 8 Letters, and while they're excited about their new era, they're also thankful for their past.

"I think we've just grown up," Marais, 22, says. "The beautiful thing about 8 Letters is it was really successful and we were able to travel around the world and grow up a ton. This new album is a result of those experiences."

"We're totally switching it up," adds Besson. "It does feel like we're really switching it up and going into this whole different route. But to some extent, we're bringing it back to our roots because we all grew up playing instruments."

Why Don't We
Why Don't We album cover for The Good Times And The Bad Ones
| Credit: Pamela Littky

After three years of back-to-back tours, Seavey, 21, says the group was ready for some time off.

"We didn't really get a break and we needed one bad; we were dragging," he says. "So the break was nice to take for a second. Initially, we thought we'd come back in three months and it turned into nine because of COVID."

The respite from the band was especially welcome for Avery, 21, who relished the extra time spent with his 22-month-old daughter Lavender May.

"Our bond has just grown immensely," he says. "I can never ask for more."

"I feel like that helped with your mental health a lot too," added Marais. "You were overall a happier person."

When speaking about baby Lavender, the boys expressed their excitement to watch her grow and support Avery as a father.

"It's good to know you're the favorite uncle," Herron, 19, says with a laugh.

The Good Times and The Bad Ones is out now.