As we noted last month when Luke Hemmings re-emerged with his first solo offering "Starting Line," he was absolutely owning the spotlight.
Now, just a month later, he has released debut album When Facing The Things We Turn Away From, and it has truly exceeded our expectations. With these 12 songs, the 5 Seconds of Summer frontman has not only veered onto his own path, but he has done it so masterfully.
"You’re reflecting on your youth and all of the madness and craziness," said of the new music at the time of releasing the first single. "It’s like you’re forgetting so many pieces of your life—not from vices or anything—but from the sheer volume. I had to figure out how to fill a lot of gaps for myself in a positive way. It’s the human condition to change everything up after so long. A lot of the album deals with the idea time is slipping away from you.”
Surprisingly (or maybe not), big, pop radio-friendly bits are absent from the record, which was largely written by Hemmings himself, without the help of the familiar teams of co-writers, except his collaborator Sammy Witte, who co-produced most of the album and also co-wrote some of the tracks, as he did on Harry Styles' 2019 full-length Fine Line.
The record opens strong with "Starting Line," but it hardly wavers, with one powerful offering followed by another, a series of intimate, emotional cuts which deeply reflect on the young star's inner thoughts, the chaos of fame and the uncertainty of current times, considering it was written during lockdown.
Hemmings shines especially on tracks such as "Place in Me," "Slip Away," "Comedown" and "A Beautiful Dream," the latter of which is simply breathtaking, with flares of old M83 as it builds to a dramatic climax.
Hear the full record below.