[Review] Luke Hemmings releases debut solo album


Luke Hemmings, lead singer of the band 5 Seconds of Summer, released his debut solo album, When Facing The Things We Turn Away From, on Aug. 13. The album consists of 12 breathtaking songs and is 44 minutes long. Each song is so unique and just when you think it can’t get better, it does. Although this album focuses on Hemmings’ life, it still feels incredibly relatable.

Career kicked off by 5SOS success
Hemmings’ career was kickstarted through a series of covers on YouTube. His YouTube videos led him to form a band with a few of his school friends and now 5 Seconds of Summer is known worldwide. The band has four albums and they are currently working on their fifth. Hemmings said that during the pandemic, each member was able to really explore their own areas of music and write for themselves. Hemmings expressed his gratitude towards his bandmates over a few Instagram posts. In one he said, “Thank you to my brothers in 5sos for your support and allowing me to pursue this project. Endless love to you.”

Quarantine brings peace, inspiration
During the pandemic, Hemmings has said he had a lot of time to get to know himself. While the pandemic was stressful and frightening for most people, Hemmings said he was finally able to feel a sense of normalcy. He began writing songs in quarantine but he never imagined he would release a solo album. With the world being in lockdown, Hemmings had time to reflect on his life and spend time doing more of what makes him happy such as writing songs for himself.

Lyrics add power to new songs
The first single “Starting Line” discusses the struggle of feeling as if your life is slipping away. Lyrics like “I’m missing all these memories, maybe they were never mine” and “I think I missed the gun at the starting line” give listeners a look into the life Hemmings has lived. This song is definitely one of my favorites on this album. I have listened to it so many times and it hasn’t gotten old. The big guitars and drums make you want to get up and dance but when you really listen to the lyrics, you realize how incredible this song truly is.

The second track “Saigon” is an ethereal song that dives into realizing how hard it is to face the things that we so often find ourselves turning away from. The song was inspired by a trip that Hemmings and his fiancée, Sierra Deaton, took to Vietnam. In the album description, Hemmings described the trip as being euphoric. He also said that he “wanted to keep chasing [the] highs” he felt while in Saigon. The thing that drew me to this song was how peaceful it felt. I also find it incredibly relatable. It’s hard to face the truth and it’s easy to get lost in memories of happier times.

Another favorite for me on this album is the closing track “Comedown.” In the album description, Hemmings says that he feels as if this song was given to him. The song is about finally allowing yourself to feel all the emotions you’ve been avoiding. It was a quick favorite for me because of the emotions I felt while listening to it for the first time. Toward the end of the song, the drums came in and it instantly gave me chills. After having heard it multiple times, I’ve realized how well it fits as the closing track. The album discusses turning away from unwanted emotions but by the end, Hemmings came to realize that he needed to feel the emotions he was hiding from.

A must-hear album
Music is so moving and with powerful songwriting, you can feel everything that the artist is describing.

Hemmings, who grew up in the spotlight with 5 Seconds of Summer, has been active for the past 10 years. He grew up alongside bandmates Ashton Irwin (who also has a solo album), Calum Hood, and Michael Clifford. The band was thrown into the public eye after their song “She Looks So Perfect” took off. After releasing their debut album, they toured with One Direction and haven’t had a break since. Because of the constant touring, Hemmings has said that he never really had the time to reflect on his life – until now.

Over the past 10 years, Luke Hemmings has gained the ability to move people with his writing and that genuinely shows on this album. If you’re looking to reflect on your life or just listen to some incredible songs, I really recommend When Facing The Things We Turn Away From.