Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and 5 Seconds of Summer stalwart Ashton Irwin is all set to release his debut solo album, Superbloom at the end of October. He’s teased the album’s imminent arrival with the release of the single “Skinny Skinny”.
I don’t know what I was expecting the debut solo single from Irwin to sound like. Something more polished and pop I expect. Certainly, I wasn’t expecting “Skinny Skinny”, a track that deals with mental health and body dysmorphia – all delivered in a 1970’s folk rock style. Irwin’s deep dive into Nick Drake’s back catalogue has made its mark.
The single is borne out of a conversation Irwin had with his fifteen-year-old brother regarding body image. “He’s already caught up in his own mental image of what his body should look like,” says Ashton. “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’ve been through stages in my life where I’ve been sickened by that state of mind”. It’s a theme, which is picked up and worked through in the powerful accompanying music video.
“Skinny Skinny” forces you to throw away any preconceived notions you might have about Irwin, about his music, and maybe even about boy bands full stop. It’s an impressive release, one that displays a great deal of lyrical maturity and strength. Judging from the single, and the album presser, Irwin is unflinchingly personal and introspective when it comes to his songwriting. Certainly, “Skinny Skinny” deals with some ‘uncomfortable’ topics, but does so well, with tact and poise. It certainly can’t hurt to have an artist of Irwin’s stature with a young audience talk about these issues either.
“Skinny Skinny” is a powerful, deeply personal and (unexpectedly) evocative slice of folk rock/pop. Press play on the video below, and pop a pre-order in when you’re done.