“Starting Line” by Luke Hemmings

Luke Hemmings “Starting Line” relies heavily on symbolism but apparently is based on a nostalgic theme. Luke has offered his own lofty explanation to the track’s meaning which, all things considered, doesn’t really make it any easier to understand. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Luke Hemmings's Starting Line at Lyrics.org.
Luke Hemmings discusses "Starting Line"

But what it actually seems going down is that the vocalist is somehow burdened by past psychological/emotional baggage, most expressly manifested via some type of “fear”. In fact the situation is so bad that, as the first verse appears to indicate, he is looking for someone to help him get through it. 

And no, it doesn’t necessarily read like he is traumatized or anything like that. Rather the narrator comes off more as the victim of a “broken” heart.

That’s as far as the verses are concerned. When it comes to the chorus, things get a lot more complicated. But all lyrics considered, what we are suggesting is that the vocalist has come to the related realization that time is finite. Or put alternatively, it wouldn’t be beneficial for him to go his entire life being held back by the aforementioned baggage. 

And such is the idea, in sort of an indirect way, which the title is intended to relay. Or as the singer appears to be putting it, the time to have gotten serious about moving on transpired a long time ago, yet he still hasn’t done so.


But let it be known that the above explanation is theoretical. Other parts of the song, like the bridge/outro, are more challenging to decipher than even the chorus. 

It would seem that the bridge is the only part of the song that is actually in congruence with the aforenoted explanation provided by Hemmings himself. Said elucidation suggests that what we are actually dealing with here is someone who cannot remember the past in its entirety. 

So in terms of the experiences he can’t recall, he makes up his own which may be more pleasant than what actually transpired, or something like that. And the reason we say the bridge may be related is because he is possibly mentioning something like himself being a “liar” therein.

But that noted, based on the bulk of the lyrics what is fundamentally being put forth, arguably, is the vocalist perceiving a necessity to progress in life as far as getting over yesteryear is concerned, or the past worrying him in some way, shape or form.

"Starting Line" Lyrics

Luke Hemmings

Luke Hemmings is a singer and songwriter from Australia who has established a name for himself as the frontman of 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS), a role he’s been serving since 2011. As far as the latter-2010s are concerned, we would venture to say that 5SOS were perhaps the most-successful musical act from the Land Down Under. 

That is to say that in-between 2014 and 2019 they have dropped quite a few singles that have gone multi-platinum in their homeland and in some cases abroad also. For instance, their 2014 track Amnesia went double-platinum in Australia as well as in the United States. 

And their 2018 outing Youngblood also went double-platinum in the US and UK, on top of being certified 11-times platinum in Australia. And as far as their albums go, although the full-lengths haven’t necessarily been mega sellers, all four of them up until this point – 5 Seconds of Summer (2014), Sounds Good Feels Good (2015), Youngblood (2018) and Calm (2020) – topped the ARIA Albums Chart. And the first 3 also did the same on the Billboard 200, with the last one falling just a spot short.

5 Seconds of Summer traces its origins back to Luke Hemmings’ high school friendship with bandmates Calum Hood (bass) and Michael Clifford (guitar). Being born in 1996, when 5SOS was formed in 2011 he would have been about 15 years old

In fact currently being 24 years of age (as of the release of this track), it would seem that he still hasn’t finished high school due to the 5SOS blowing up before he graduated. All of this for someone who, according to his own words, “grew up in a small house in the middle of nowhere” and comes from ‘so humble beginnings’. 

But his older brothers taught him how to play the guitar when he was young, and Hemmings has been able to make a more-than-successful living out of music early on.

Luke Hemmings’ parents are named Andrew and Liz Hemmings.  The former is a retired maintenance man and latter currently being employed in photography.

“Starting Line”

“Starting Line” is actually the lead single from what is shaping up to be Luke Hemmings’ own first solo album, entitled “When Facing the Things We Turn Away From”, which is slated for an August 2021 release. 

Apparently the project came about due to the coronavirus lockdowns, i.e. Hemmings being separated from his bandmates. And in the meantime “Starting Line”  itself was released on 30 June 2021.

Starting Line

To note, Luke Hemmings is not the first member of 5SOS to have come out with a solo album. That distinction rather belongs to Ashton Irwin who dropped a project in 2020 entitled Superbloom, which did okay locally.

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