Sunday, April 14, 2024

Touching On Time-Blurred Nostalgia With Luke Hemmings In ‘Close My Eyes’

With the release of ‘Close My Eyes’ by Luke Hemmings from his upcoming album, ‘Boy’, we're beginning to understand why the name of his debut solo tour is ‘Nostalgia For A Time That Never Existed’. 

The indie-pop-rock artist is taking on the hues of blue that have transpired throughout his in childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. These shades represent self-depreciation, confidence, depression, imagination, mourning, soothing, and stability. 

He delicately weaves in these complicated emotions and perspectives that have been bottled up over the years - in his case, this upcoming album, like ‘When Facing The Things We Turn Away From’, we can assume will showcase how he has tried to cope with himself and who he has become. 

Hemmings is now facing the things he was supposed to see and finding pockets of love for himself and others and gratitude while simultaneously holding space for "all the little deaths" that set him off as he takes the next step in his life. ‘Close My Eyes’ is the in-between state of realising that time has gone by quickly and that flashes of these good and bad memories are becoming further away from you. 

It doesn't matter if you were fully present during those moments or realised their impact on you; what matters is the iron grip on not losing touch with what was in fear of change and officially moving on. Those "little deaths" are versions of Hemmings pre-5 Seconds of Summer and touring as an opener for One Direction, during the rise of his band, saying goodbye to "traditional" teenage years, how meeting his wife changed him for the better, and more. 

"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" and "Quiet, desperate / All the people hidin' / In your garden, cryin' / Where is the time I lost?" indicate an anxious self-soothing. ‘Close My Eyes’  is guided by '90s imaginative synths and glittery effects with blurry bass lines and syncopated drums as a listener gets pulled into understanding wanting to embrace the things we've done in the past and say a proper goodbye to versions of ourselves and people we used to know to find closure. While also understanding the dissociative experience of doing that and feeling that time has blurred since then - that's where the longing for being more present slowly seeps in, and the daydreaming for a different version - a different nostalgia existed. 

It's a beautifully done piece compressing the internal rumination that we have in the back of a silent car or bus - it's not a pretty hue to feel, but to feel stable, we must close our eyes and let this hazy cathartic blue of mourning of past selves to be supposed to reach the shimmering stability we long for. 

Tyra Baker 


Image: ‘Close My Eyes’ Official Single Cover

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