With a decade of skin in the game, singer-songwriter and musician, Australian born artist Luke Hemmings bares his soul in his first solo album When Facing the Things We Turn Away from. A 12 track record unlike what we’re used to hearing from Hemmings. When Facing the Things We Turn Away from has themes of introspection, gratitude, and most importantly, self forgiveness. In recent years, Hemmings and his bandmates have been candid about not being the people they were when they burst onto the scene as young teenagers in 2011. That true growth is reflected in their discography but it is exemplified in the artistry and lyricism in When Facing the Things We Turn Away From.
Leading single ‘Starting Line’ caught the attention of fans and critics alike for the candor. With lyrics like ‘I wake up every morning, the years ticking by I’m missing all these memories maybe they were never mine I feel the walls are closing I’m running out of time I think I missed the gun at the starting line’ Hemmings paints a beautifully painful, yet thorough picture of feelings of inadequacy and watching your youth slip by. Watching your friends' youth slip by. Is it just me or have these past years not felt quite real? These recurring themes of looking back lovingly show up throughout this smooth and funky album. With honesty as his M.O. it’s clear that this album is so dear to him with songs like ‘Saigon’--no doubt a nod to his Fiance, Sierra Deaton, whose mother is from Saigon, Vietnam. Deaton, also co-wrote ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Bloodline’. Track 7 titled ‘Mum’ begins with an apology to Hemmings mother who took the plunge with him, moved hemispheres, and went on giant world tours with his band when they were 16. At only 25 years of age, Luke Hemmings has already lived so many lives.
Though Hemmings was merely a teenager when he bursted onto the scene, there is no teeny bopper image for him to shed. Boasting 9 million instagram followers and 18 million monthly listeners on spotify, 5 Seconds of Summer hold a modest amount of awards including fan influenced awards for the time they’ve been together with 1 song peaking in the top 10 on the Billboard charts, the reception to the band has not been on par with the numbers they gross. All this to say that Luke Hemmings has been honing this craft for a number of years, meandering away from the rebellious pop punk sounds that reeled us in, When Facing the Things We Turn Away From comes through just as enticingly but more thoughtful and deliberate this time.