5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin has announced he’ll release debut solo album Superbloom next month via EMI. Irwin began work on the record as lockdowns began back in February, with 5SOS’ touring schedule empty for the foreseeable.
Superbloom was recorded by Irwin in his LA home with producer (and housemate) Matt Pauling. The multi-instrumentalist cites a broad range of artists as influences on the album – including Foo Fighters, Silverchair and My Bloody Valentine.
“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,” Irwin explained in a statement
Per a press release, Superbloom takes its personal lyrical content from Irwin’s childhood, alcoholism, depression, body dysmorphia and more. “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?’”
“It was really freeing and inspiring to me,” the drummer said of his decision to make a record on his own. “The journey I was intending was growth, self-understanding, self-reliance when it comes to song-writing and production. The songs I’ve written for this record couldn’t be sung by anyone else but me.”
To coincide with the announcement, the singer-songwriter has shared lead single ‘Skinny Skinny’. It’s a departure from his previous work, trading the pop-punk of 5SOS for meditative folk – it’s unsurprising to hear it was written as Irwin was in the middle of a deep-dive into Nick Drake’s catalogue.
The song (and its accompanying video, co-directed by Jade Ehlers) is a reflective, personal look into body image that Irwin says he began writing after a conversation with his 15-year-old brother.
“He’s already caught up in his own mental image of what his body should look like,” Irwin says. “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”.
Watch the video for ‘Skinny Skinny’ below. Superbloom arrives Friday, 23rd October.