When Facing the Things We Turn Away From made me envious of Luke Hemmings’ writing abilities

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A picture of the album cover for Luke Hemming’s first album and also the trackless

I’ve always adored the way that raindrops and music notes weave together to form harmonies that satisfy my longing for peace. 

And I’ve always envied artists that can write lyrics so powerful that they evoke passion from those who listen. I wish I could weave words as effortlessly as they do, and I wish I could find the right words to string together to write everlasting ballads—Luke Hemmings is one of these artists.  

Artists like Hemmings seem to write about emotions I didn’t know I was experiencing, emotions I haven’t gotten around to naming yet. 

Even though Hemmings is the lead singer in the band 5 Seconds of Summer, he has decided to branch out and record an album on his own—When Facing the Things We Turn Away From—while still being a vital member of the alternative rock band that many love for their unique sounds. 

I’ve been a 5SOS fan for a while—if you scroll far enough back on my family’s iTunes account, you’ll see their first album as one of the first pieces of music I spent my own money on. Now, at the top of my Spotify, you’ll find that Hemmings’ album has made a home for itself among my other tried and true favorites.      

In an Instagram post, Hemmings talked about how this album was how he chose to process the last 10 years of his life. He was writing songs as a way to get all of his negative emotions out on a page so he could rearrange them. He was taking the power back from them and making them into something eloquent that he could be proud of.

The song that originally drew me to this album was “Starting Line.” It’s a song that’s about feeling as if you’re moving at a pace too slow; the words are beautiful. Hemmings does a beautiful job of weaving together a story of how he feels like an outsider in his own life; his life keeps moving as he watches it from the outside. The upbeat rhythm provides a refreshing contrast to the heavy subject matter this song is written about. 

I’ve always adored the way that raindrops and music notes weave together to form harmonies that satisfy my longing for peace. ”

As my evening progressed, “Mum” lowly played through my bedroom. This song, a song about growing into the independence that comes with adulthood and his regrets of watering down the relationship he has with his mother as a result of his mental health, seemed to stick with me because of how heartbreaking it was—this song was a personal favorite of mine, although each song on this album had a lyric that I felt I could relate to and understand on a deeper level.   

“Place In Me” was unique. The lyrics were so personal and intimate that I felt Hemmings’ pain as he came to the realization that he is too empathetic for this world. The soothing tone of his voice and music underneath made this song feel as if it were a depressing lullaby meant to let the listener know they aren’t alone in their journey to grow up and move on.

This album made me proud—proud of Hemmings. I grew up listening to his band’s music and was raised on the sounds of their alternative rock songs like “Heartbreak Girl.” This album of his was more mature than anything of his I’d ever heard before. It was refreshing and calming to feel like one of my favorite artists was evolving with my tastes as this school year begins to pick up speed. 

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From was eloquent and beautiful, yet still had a simplicity that drew me in and kept me listening. And as someone who wished to weave words as effortlessly as Hemmings does, I implore you to use his music as the soundtrack to your evenings.