How fitting that two days after the start of Autumn, 5 Seconds of Summer’s Ashton Irwin decided to unveil his debut solo album? The drummer for the beloved rock band will release Sueprbloom on Oct. 23, and fans got the “skinny” on what this new record will sound like courtesy of his first single. Ashton, 26, dropped “Skinny Skinny” on Sept. 24, and it’s a reflection — literally — of what people who battle body image issues often see in the mirror. This message is brought to life with a simple yet impactful music video.
In front of warped mirrors, a shirtless Ashton dances through the thoughts and images that flow in and out of our minds as we look at our reflections. In one scene, words like “TOO SKINNY” and “YOU LOOK DISGUSTING” pop up on the screen, which Ashton eventually frees himself from as he takes a sledgehammer and smashes the deceiving mirrors. “The Skinny Skinny MV faces + fights back against the demon that lives in the mirror,” Ashton explained on Twitter, a few minutes after dropping the music video. He added, “I wanted to capture the struggle of not feeling at home in your own body. A video of battle, footage of the fight, a snapshot of resilience. I hope you find it empowering.”
“It is with a great explosion of joy and with my entire soul that I proudly announce that I am releasing my first solo record on Oct. 23. #Superbloom explores my inner philosophies and feelings about the walk of life I have found myself on,” Ashton tweeted on Sept. 23, hours before “Skinny Skinny” was released. “I’m ridiculously excited to share this with you, it feels like this record has been over a decade in the making. It brings me the greatest joy of all that I am in a band that allows me to create freely inside and outside of it. I can’t wait for you to hear it.”
The first single, “Skinny Skinny,” is out everywhere tonight. “We must fight against a common darkness that shadows our ability to live truthfully, to live without self-doubt, and without self-destruction and love ourselves for what we are,” he added. “When writing this song, I thought of myself and many other young peoples’ struggles with body image, particularly body dysmorphia. It’s something I’ve never confronted in a creative form, and I’m feeling strong in saying ‘Skinny Skinny’ goes directly to that painful place in my mind.”
Superbloom doesn’t mark Ashton’s exit from 5SOS. He let fans know the motivation behind this solo project via his Spotify page. The Superbloom record was made during the COVID-19 lockdown, and he described it as a result of “continued artistic advancement.” Ashton claims he put together a record that “draws from the broad collection of artists he loves – including Foo Fighters, Nick Drake, Helmet, Silverchair, Stone Temple Pilots, My Bloody Valentine, [and] Curve.”
Ashton’s album contains tracks about his “childhood, about alcoholism, depression, body dysmorphia, death, addiction, despair, and hope.” The 5SOS drummer says, “I had to reach a certain level of lyrical maturity in order to write about something I actually cared about.” He also noted that Superbloom was a “really freeing and inspiring to me. The songs I’ve written for this record couldn’t be sung by anyone else but me.”
2019 was a busy year for 5SOS. The band – Luke Hemmings, Michael Clifford, Calum Hood, and Ashton – collaborated with The Chainsmokers on “Who Do You Love,” and joined the duo on the North American World War Joy Your. In May 2019, they released “Easier,” the lead single from their fourth studio album, Calm. Both it and the follow-up single, “Teeth,” charted in numerous countries, with the latter being nominated for Song of the Year by the APRA Music Awards. The band released Calm in March 2020, earning their fifth Top 10 album on the Billboard 200. Originally, 5SOS was to embark on their No Shame Tour this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to reschedule it for 2021.
Ashton’s Superbloom follows a very busy year for 5 Seconds of Summer. The band released “Easier” in 2019, the lead single off their fourth studio album, Calm. They followed it up with “Teeth,” “No Shame,” “Old Me,” and “Wildflower,” before releasing Calm in March 2020.
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