Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ashton Irwin, best known as a member of Australian pop-rock icons 5 Seconds of Summer, has announced his debut solo album, sharing lead single “Skinny Skinny” today.
Having served as a founding member of the Sydney quartet since their inception almost a decade ago, Irwin has long been a prominent figure in the world of music both here and abroad. However, with the group releasing their fourth studio album, Calm, back in March, few could have expected a solo record would follow for the artist.
Titled Superbloom, it’s set to be released on October 23rd, with its origins tracing back to the beginning of the year, when lockdown from the global pandemic left Irwin with an unexpectedly free schedule. Recording from his LA home with producer housemate Matt Pauling, the album is the result of his continued artistic advancement.
Though he noted he’d always felt a solo album was on the cards, the opportunity gave him a chance to create a record full of sounds drawing from a broad range of influences, including the likes of Foo Fighters, Helmet, Silverchair, Stone Temple Pilots, My Bloody Valentine, and Curve.
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It is with a great explosion of joy and with my entire soul that I am proudly announcing to you all that I am releasing my first solo record. The album explores my inner philosophies and feelings about the walk of life I have found myself on. 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. You can pre-order my debut solo album ‘Superbloom’ out October 23rd everywhere tonight. Pre-save now from the link in my profile. The first single “Skinny Skinny” is out everywhere tonight at 9pm PT. 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. When writing “Skinny Skinny” I first thought of myself, and many other young peoples struggles with body image and particularly body dysmorphia. It’s something I’ve never confronted in a creative form and I am feeling strong in saying “Skinny Skinny” goes directly to that painful place in my mind.
Meanwhile, the record provided Irwin with a chance to talk about all manner of topics that meant a lot to him, including discussions around his own childhood, alcoholism, depression, death, addiction, despair, and hope
“The over-arching narrative is support system, healing, recovery, strength and focus on true self. I felt like I had a lot to write about,” he explains.
“I had to reach a certain level of lyrical maturity in order to write about something I actually cared about. I think it’s always important as an artist to have a mission statement, like, ‘why do you make music? Why do you write the lyrics you write?'”
Sharing lead single “Skinny Skinny”, Irwin explains that it was written while going through a deep dive into the work of Nick Drake, and takes the form of a conversation he had with his 15-year-old brother regarding body image.
“He’s already caught up in his own mental image of what his body should look like,” Irwin explains. “I thought that was such a crippling trap for a young man to try and walk through. I needed to write a song that captured the pain of body dysmorphia. I have been through stages in my life where I’ve been sickened by that state of mind.”
Ashton Irwin’s “Skinny Skinny” is out now, while his debut album, Superbloom, will be released on October 23rd via EMI Music Australia, with pre-orders available now.