“Place In Me” is Luke Hemming’s third and probably final single before the release of his debut album “When Facing the Things We Turn Away From”. Unlike his previous two single “Starting Line” and “Motion” this song focuses on how his past actions have affected other people rather than himself. Hemming’s is slowing down here. We are thrown from fast-paced lyrics to a sudden halt and Hemming’s decides what he wants to permanently keep in his life.
Again I don’t have much knowledge of the technical terms of music but I can comment on the way sound affects me. Sonically this song mimics an echo, like Hemmings is singing from inside an empty building. The combination of acoustic guitar and voice creates the sense of trying to reach something — reaching out with an apology. Desperation and painful regret flood my ears.
Similar to his other singles, Hemming’s gets louder as he reaches the chorus. The listener can build of picture of the realisation of his mistakes and the passion his apology holds.
And now let’s look at the lyrics — the bit I am more confident with writing about!
There’s nothing more desperate and passionate than the use of repetition. Hemming’s triples the line “Now with my eyes wide open” followed by three different revelations.
The line shows that he has awoken to reality. He can reflect on his past actions and condemn them; consequently allowing an apology to follow.
First, he realises that “It’s heaven in your arms”. The song ponders on his relationship (most likely with his fiance). Now that he has come to his senses, his eyes opening, he realises how much she means to him.
He then understands that “I tore you right apart”. While acting blindly through the previous parts of their relationship he had caused hurt and suffering.
Consequently, he follows the third revelation he has after his eyes open is that “I’m nothing but a fake”. This could mean that the way he acted before wasn’t true to himself. He wants another chance to show who he is. It may also suggest that he was pretending to be someone else because it seemed better at the time — this wouldn’t unlikely with the consequences of fame.
He asks the addressee to “Hold on”. To bear with him as he navigates the past and can prove himself. Establish his true identity.
Perhaps the harshest and most powerful line in the song is “I’m so apathetic, it’s pathetic / But I need you now”. The plosives express how angry and frustrated he is at himself. He knows how stupid he has been but to undergo a transformation he still needs the relationship. In acknowledging his weaknesses he hopes that he can retain some support — that they will bear with him.
As I have said before, the album contains many references to movement and change. It’s an album full of flow and transformation. The echo sounds of the song implicate a past and present. And Hemmings’ is also using similar semantics like “move”, “stay” and “fade away”. While Hemming’s is adjusting his life and personality, he doesn’t want this person to go. He needs this one stable thing that he believes is an essential core of his life. The one thing holding it all together. And if this remains stationary that he can stabilise and correct everything else in his life.
The song concludes with the title lyrics: “You’ll always have a place in me.” Whether this person decides to leave doesn’t mean that they will lose all influence in his life. They are now part of his identity — for better it seems. They are embedded within him and that is one thing he can no longer change.
“Place In Me” adds another chapter to Hemming’s new album and the picture is beginning to take place. With the addition of the album songs a wonderful narrative of memory, identity and the fast pace movement of time is sure to unfold — I cannot wait!