Hear the name Luke Hemmings and you most likely think of 5 Seconds of Summer, the multi-platinum pop-rock phenomenon he’s been fronting since he was 15. Their fourth full-length album - C A L M - dropped on March 27, 2020, just as the world went into lockdown. With tour plans canceled and the band members separated in their homes by quarantine restrictions, Hemmings found himself in a new state of stillness and processing the constant movement of the past ten years. He channeled his reflections into songwriting on acoustic guitar and piano, unexpectedly forming his first solo debut album, “When Facing The Things We Turn Away From”.
“The only way for me to figure out all of what happened was to write music. That's kind of my love language, and it was very cathartic to figure out all those things. So it deals with all of that stuff and a lot of it is written from now, looking back from a bird's eye view. I guess hindsight is 20/20, but the song was written from the perspective of being in the thick of it, and trying to figure it out as a young adult.”
As the world began to open up, Luke teamed up with Sammy Witte to produce the record, which will be released on August 13. The songs are different to those we’ve grown accustomed to hearing from him and the band. Dreamy piano transmissions wrap around intimate, self-reflective verses in “Starting Line”, and in “Repeat” this simplicity of approach is echoed by emotional lyrics paired with plucking guitar, that build as the acoustics melt into sweeping strings.
Luke is still the lead singer/frontman of 5 Seconds Of Summer, but as he embarks on an additional solo career he sits down with Rollacoaster to chat about the songs that grew out of a year of stillness, the important role his fiancé Sierra played in the new album, and the unexpected creative gifts of quarantine.