'Skinny Skinny'

Stars: 4/5

5 Seconds of Summer drummer Ashton Irwin announced that he would be releasing a solo project in October. Irwin released his debut single “Skinny Skinny” along with a music video in September.

Although this may come as a surprise to fans of 5SOS, the drummer is still not quite done with his original band with his social media bios still saying that he is a “drummer and vocalist for an Australian band called 5 Seconds of Summer.”

The single “Skinny Skinny” addresses Irwin’s own struggles with body image. Irwin said in an Instagram caption that the song was for both him and his fans struggling with body dysmorphia. He also said that he was excited to put out this single as he’s never felt comfortable expressing this side of himself creatively.

This song is definitely different from any 5SOS song I’ve ever heard, but it’s not 5SOS; it’s Ashton Irwin. I’ve followed 5SOS through my teen years after seeing them on tour with One Direction. I’ve seen the band in concert four times, and Irwin has always been my favorite. I think this solo project has potential. If anything, I’m happy Irwin is stepping out to work on his own creative project.

“Skinny Skinny” is anything but a pop-rock song. It’s more of a soft rock song. Irwin harmonizes with himself while singing especially heavy lyrics. If there’s one way I can describe this song, it’s unexpected. I’ve always thought of Irwin as an extremely energetic and happy person, but this song is more reserved in its tone. Although this is not a song I could see myself jamming to in the car, I commend Irwin for creatively tackling the severity of body image in his solo work.

“We must fight against a common darkness that shadows our ability to live truthfully, to live without self doubt, to live without self destruction and love ourselves for what we are,” Irwin said in his Instagram post announcing the single.

The music video for “Skinny Skinny” was co-directed by Irwin himself. The video gives a visual of what is being depicted in the lyrics. Irwin stands shirtless in front of multiple mirrors and dances to the song with words about body image being scribbled across the screen. In the end, Irwin defeats his own bad thoughts by taking a sledgehammer to the mirrors, then applause is heard before the video ends.

“I wanted to capture what it feels like to struggle with not feeling at home in your own body,” Irwin said on Instagram. “This is a video of a battle, footage of the fight, a snapshot of resilience. I hope you find this video empowering.”

Overall, I think Irwin has made a unique creative decision with his solo work. Although the idea of him releasing his own work was shocking, it’s a good way for Irwin to express himself separately from 5SOS. The song “Skinny Skinny” is not particularly my jam, but it addresses an important issue that many young adults have experienced. The music video does a good job of visualizing what the lyrics mean, and it has an equal if not stronger message than the song itself.

I’m excited to see where Irwin takes this solo project. I have no idea which way this album will go, and I think that’s what excites me the most. It is clear that Irwin is using his platform and talent to talk about serious topics that both he and his fans deal with, which will be truly impactful.

At first, I was a little worried about what this solo project would mean for 5SOS. As I thought about it a little more, Irwin is taking a healthy and much-needed pause from a very successful band to express himself as an individual.

“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,” Irwin said.

Irwin is set to release his solo album “Superbloom” in October. The album will feature “Skinny Skinny” along with nine other tracks.

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