5SOS Frontman Luke Hemmings Breaks Out at the “Starting Line” with Anthemic Solo Debut

Luke Hemmings © Scottie Cameron
Luke Hemmings © Scottie Cameron
5 Seconds of Summer’s frontman Luke Hemmings has made an unforgettable solo debut with “Starting Line,” an intimate indie rock anthem roaring with equal parts raw energy and pure, unfiltered emotion.
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Stream: “Starting Line” – Luke Hemmings




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.

Dynamic, driving, and introspective, Luke Hemmings’ solo debut is a resounding reintroduction full of passion and depth: An intimate indie rock anthem roaring with equal parts raw energy and pure, unfiltered emotion. Rising to a cathartic inner and outer release, “Starting Line” roars with fervor as the 5 Seconds of Summer frontman begins anew, making his first foray into what promises to be an exhilarating, fresh new solo career.

When Facing the Things We Turn Away From - Luke Hemmings
When Facing the Things We Turn Away From – Luke Hemmings
In and out of focus, moments that I keep
Something for the pain and something so I sleep
Won’t you comfort me?
Warm the air that I breathe
Visceral in doses, hiding in the seams
Standing on the sun and I don’t feel a thing
Won’t you comfort me?
Take the fear I don’t need

Released June 30 via Sony Music Australia, “Starting Line” arrived midway through this year as Luke Hemmings’ first solo venture, following ten years of unfathomable achievement and unprecedented successes spearheading pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, who have sold over 10 million albums and over 2 million concert tickets worldwide, and surpassed 7 billion streams over the past decade. Following the release of their fourth studio album CALM in March 2020, the band seemed to take the COVID-19 pandemic – which caused numerous global lockdowns right around CALM‘s release date – as a chance for a well-deserved break. Two members have now used the past year’s undefined hiatus to explore solo ventures: 5SOS drummer Ashton Irwin released his solo debut Superbloom in October 2020, and now Hemmings’ own debut album, When Facing the Things We Turn Away From, is set to release August 13.



As far as introductory singles go, “Starting Line” is the perfect entry-point for longtime 5SOS fans and newcomers alike. The song hits hard, showcasing the artist at his most tender and his most impassioned as he rises up from a gentle intro verse about time and life’s passing, ultimately blossoming into (and out of) a dramatic chorus brimming with meaning as he externalizes his internal strife.

I wake up every morning with the years ticking by
I’m missing all these memories, maybe they were never mine
I feel the walls are closin’, I’m running out of the time
I think I missed the gun at the starting line
Luke Hemmings © Scottie Cameron
Luke Hemmings © Scottie Cameron



“’Starting Line’ was written in one stream of thought at my friend Sammy’s house,” Hemmings tells Atwood Magazine, referencing his collaborator and producer and songwriter Sammy Witte (Maggie Rogers, Jessie Ware). “The lyrics come from a reflection of 10 years of my life passing me by in what felt like forever, but also in the blink of an eye. I have always had an obsession with time but it was elevated by staying at home after years of constant movement.”

“’Starting Line’ discusses missing various memories,” he adds. “You’re reflecting on your youth and all of the madness and craziness. 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.”

We hear this vivid contemplation continue into the second verse and beyond as Hemmings wonders aloud about his own self-worth, the value of memory, and the purpose of living in the moment if the moment ultimately fade out or lose their strength over time. His song is its own philosophical and existential crisis – one that unapologetically delves into the depths of a topic many young adults (Hemmings is 25 years old) might think about on a basis. It’s a strain of thought directly attached to growing older and feeling like time is passing you by; one intrinsic to the post coming-of-age wondering and wanderings.

Tell me, am I broken? I can never leave
Biting on my tongue and checking if it bleeds
Oh, is it lost on me?
All the things I believe
Something like an omen I can never keep
Moving on and on, so very bittersweet
Is it lost on me?
All the things I don’t need
I wake up every morning with the years ticking by
I’m missing all these memories, maybe they were never mine
I feel the walls are closin’, I’m running out of the time
I think I missed the gun at the starting line

As turbulence ensues within Hemmings, it also comes to bear around him in song: Kaleidoscopic guitars and surging drums invigorate a radiant vocal performance that sweeps upon us and soars, charged and full of aching. Musically, this initial release – the first of many more, to be sure – brings to mind indie rock/pop bands like The Killers, A Silent Film, and The Airborne Toxic Event. It’s anthemic and resolute, an outpouring of seismic scale begging to channel our own inner tension outwards.

“Starting Line” may be just the beginning for Luke Hemmings’ solo work – he followed with the shimmering, dance-y “Motion” in July – but it’s all we really need to get on the 5SOS frontman’s bandwagon. Stream the song below and stay tuned for his solo album When Facing the Things We Turn Away From, out August 13.

Take me alive, make me a liar
Take me alive
Don’t look away until it’s gone
‘Til it’s gone

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:: stream/purchase “Starting Line” here ::
Stream: “Starting Line” – Luke Hemmings



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When Facing the Things We Turn Away From - Luke Hemmings

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📸 © Scottie Cameron


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