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When Facing The Things We Turn Away From

The album title is ‘not an easy sell’ like Luke Hemmings said himself recently. But almost 2 years after it’s release it is still the best album I know. This album is alive and unique in so many ways. I just had to write my first blog about this album!


Like many people I know Luke Hemmings as the frontman and lead singer of 5 Seconds of Summer. However, in the 2020 COVID lockdown the band (and the whole world) was forced on a break right after the release of their new album CALM and before the start of their No Shame world tour. It was uncertain if the tour would ever happen and 5SOS went mostly silent. After a few months 5SOS’ drummer Ashton Irwin announced his own solo album and rumours began to spread about the band breaking up. Luckily this was quickly debunked and the band said they would give each other creative freedom and time to work on solo projects without breaking up the band. Something I respect very much and which we sadly don’t see more often. (Guess what band I’m talking about)

After a long time in late June 2021 Luke released his first solo single ‘Starting Line’ and announced his album ‘When Facing The Things We Turn Away From’. After the 2 singles ‘Motion’ and ‘Place In Me’ the album finally came out on August 13. That’s where the real fun (and ugly crying) began for most fans and ofcourse me! :)

Why I love this album

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t completely love on first sight. I remember skipping to ‘Baby Blue’ immediately and playing it over and over again. I also loved ‘Mum’, ‘Comedown’ and the singles released previously, but the other songs had to grow on me. This is mostly because the songs were slower than the rest and I thought they were too alternative and wasn’t in the mood for that. However, the next day I began listening to ‘Saigon’ more and more and soon enough the other songs all found their way to me. I think that’s also why this album is my absolute favourite. Each song has a different story to me while at the same time they’re all part of one cohesive piece of work.

I’ll digest the songs individually later, but first I would like to say that everything surrounding this album was also so good as well! The aesthetic, the music videos, the unannounced live videos, the release livestream and the small documentary which showed the writing of the album. For this we also have to thank Sammy Witte for helping Luke and for producing such a unique album! And all that with Luke playing almost all the instruments himself! I’m so glad he found a style that fits him so well and it’s a shame that this solo project isn’t more generally known.

Luke Hemmings playing guitar while writing his album 'When Facing The Things We Turn Away From'.

One last thing before I talk about the songs individually. Another reason for this being the best album I know is because it seems to have a life on it’s own, even 2 years after it’s release. I still talk about it with friends and it still exists alongside everything else 5SOS does. For the 1 year anniversary Luke even released a live performance video of ‘Diamonds’ and last month he played 2 shows at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles. I’m still watching these videos everyday and I’m glad the album stays with me.


Starting Line: Like I mentioned earlier, this song was the actual ‘Starting Line’ for the album. It was the first Luke Hemmings solo track ever and I was scared when I played it for the first time. I wanted it to be a banger, but the slow beginning caught me off guard. However, when the drums came in it still turned into the banger I was hoping for. And it’s one of my favourite songs because of that slow beginning😊

Saigon: I didn’t like this song immediately. It’s the main reason I thought the album was ‘too alternative’ at first but after a few listens it grew on me. Mainly because I understood the long album title now when he sang ‘When Facing The Things We Turn Away From’. This song is the soul of the album and makes me want to cruise my car with the windows down. I also like the fact he chose the name of a Vietnamese city as the title since his fiancé Sierra Deaton is part Vietnamese.

Motion: I wish I was there to see the making of this song. Luckily we see a little bit in the short ‘Writing of the Album’ but the sound is so unique! The voices blending in with the guitar riff will forever be great and I love the live performance and music video as well! Everything about this single is unique and I don’t know any song like it.

Place In Me: Okay first of all I’d like to point out that I’m always listening to the ‘Live Performance Video’ of this one. It makes me feel nostalgic and takes me back to being 19 again. (I’m 21 now but nostalgia hits at any age!) The vocoder on top of the vocals are pretty unique as well and I wish I could listen to those separately in some way. The visualizer of this song is also really nicely done. I tried to do a piano cover in the same style but sadly don’t have a drone to fly up that far. I still did the blue colors tho😉 Anyways, I love this song and would recommend everyone to listen to the live version as well!

Baby Blue: This is one of my favourite songs EVER! It’s my favourite song of my favourite album and I think a lot of Luke Hemmings fans will agree with me. The album wouldn’t be the same without this one. It brings a feeling to the album that no other song brings and it makes me want to fall in love and drive to the edge of the world! Which is funny because I later found out that Luke and Sammy called this the ‘cruiser’ so it was literally meant for that haha. It was my top song of 2021 and remained in my ‘On Repeat’ Spotify list for the entirety of 2022. I hope that one day I’ll get the chance to hear it live! Luckily we have some footage of that now; both from the livestream and the shows last month. But I want to hear it as loud and with as many people as possible!

Repeat: The simplicity of this song really makes the best of Luke come out! Just him and a guitar (maybe some violins) and you get this really nice sound which suits him so well. I wish it wasn’t in between ‘Baby Blue’ and ‘Mum’ because it fits so well with the songs on the end of the album.

Mum: I don’t even know where to start with this one… I guess I can speak for everyone when I say this song has the biggest ‘drop’, chorus or breakdown of the whole album. The angelic vocals building up to the release of that solo are just… WOW! And the second half of the song just makes me want to fly away and start a cult haha. You really have to listen to this one to know what I’m talking about!

Slip Away: This song is my favourite sad song on the album. And there are a lot of sad ones on this album so that means something 😉. A year ago when I wasn’t feeling great I would listen to this song the most. In the car at night or right before going to sleep. It’s my go-to sad song and although I feel much better now, I will always have a special place for this one! (And I know many other fans do as well)

Diamonds: For a long time I would skip this song or only listen to it when I was listening to the album as a whole. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but the rest was way better in my opinion. I only started loving it when I heard the live version from the livestream (and later the official live performance video). It made me realise how deep and sad the lyrics actually are and made me appreciate the song way more! I still prefer the acoustic live versions, but I will never skip this song anymore.

A Beautiful Dream: A song with not so many words but amazing synths and overall really cool production. I like all the little details that can be heard and the way they made the vocals sound so far away. I guess that fits perfectly with the concept of the song and I truly feel like I’m in a dream when I listen to it. Luke started his solo show last month with this song and I wish I can hear it live someday!

Bloodline: I’m still in awe about how sad and beautiful this song is. I don’t remember when I first fell in love with this one but I’m pretty sure it was right from the release on August 13. It’s a shame this song isn’t any longer ☹

Comedown: Simply a beautiful ending to a beautiful album. I like that it’s a little bit more uplifting but together with ‘Bloodline’ and ‘Slip Away’ this song still belongs to the best sad songs. The livestream performance on just a piano is also really good. However, I like to listen to the angelic backing vocals way too much to listen to any other versions. Whenever this song comes to an end I always have to play another one. I don’t want the album to end after hearing such a beautiful track 😉

Alright that’s long enough haha. Thank you so much for reading and please give the album a listen if you haven’t already. Cheers!

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