Luke Hemmings – Close My Eyes

The 5SOS frontman channels David Bowie on new single off forthcoming EP 'boy'

The opening track of Luke Hemmings’ debut solo album outside of his work with 5SOS, 2021’s When Facing The Things We Turn Away From, is the musically expansive “Starting Line.” An adult-contemporary statement piece influenced by acts such as Talking Heads and The Cure, Hemmings was keen on discovering his musical identity outside of the context of the group. He successfully did so on that record, which was critically acclaimed and universally adored by fans.  

Following a massive arena tour with 5SOS last year, Hemmings is set to unveil his next solo offering. His new EP, boy, is set to drop on April 26th. The new single “Close My Eyes,” to be included on that project, is out now.

“Close My Eyes” is yet another layer of Hemmings’ diverse musical palette, opting for a darker, almost Bowie-like vocal tone, as well as a more sluggish delivery, under an 80’s new wave-style instrumental. There’s an underground, smoky rave-type feel to it… like someone you’ve never met is about to walk up and make an offer you may regret, or not remember, in the morning. Vocally, after sinking deep in his falsetto throughout “Shakes,” the first release from boy, “Close My Eyes” sees him sit comfortably in the richness of his baritone.

This style of delivery coincides with the lyrical content… a crisp and plaintive look inward detailing Hemmings’ fear of growing up. The fear of missing out on things that are important to him as he navigates his own life and career: “Now I don’t wanna close my eyes / See everythin’ I ever done / I never got to say goodbye / I won’t look back until it’s gone.”

Hemmings elaborated in a statement, saying: “I wrote this as I was headed into my late 20s and felt an unavoidable wave of fear and anxiety towards the inevitable death of my youth. I found myself unable to sleep because every time I tried, it was as if a film of my life was projected onto the back of my eye lids. The mistakes, successes, everything that could have been and everything that was.”

That final sentence is reflected in the opening lines of the tune: “Don’t be sad in the middle / Whole life and no time to mourn / Watch it die in the mirror / Don’t cry, it won’t be long.” While one may interpret that as, “Don’t allow your successes to overshadow what’s truly important,” it applies to both the successes AND the mistakes. Don’t lose yourself, and the people you love, in either success or failure: “Quiet, desperate / All the people hidin’ in your garden, cryin’ / Where is the time I lost?