By: RILEY PULT
5 Seconds of Summer’s drummer, Ashton Irwin, announced that he would be releasing his own solo album. 5 Seconds of Summer is an Australian band that first gained popularity after they opened for One Direction on their ‘Take Me Home’ tour. 5SOS has released 4 albums total and has had hits such as, ‘She Looks So Perfect’ (2014) and ‘Youngblood’ (2018). The band released their latest album during quarantine on March 26th.
Fans were shocked when Irwin announced his solo album. In an Twitter post he announced, “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 drummer announced September 23rd that his album would be released a month later, October 23rd. Fans were also surprised that he was releasing an album on the 5 year anniversary of the bands 2nd album. Nevertheless, followers were ecstatic and supportive.
After an almost 3 month disappearance on social media, he came on to announce a whole album. Ashton Irwin refers to himself as Ai when discussing his solo endeavors. In another Instagram post he opened up how he thought about calling himself “BLUSH” or “FLETCH”, but decided “I’m already in a great band, why would I start another?” For fans, this eased some nerves about him leaving 5 Seconds of Summer. He did not reveal why he would go by these names, but his audience assumed that “FLETCH” was a shortened version of his middle name, Fletcher. However, it is still unclear why “BLUSH” was an option.
Ashton created a ten track album that he named ‘Superbloom’. The album falls under that Alternative and Rock music genre. In an interview with ‘Rolling Stone Australia’, he claimed that he had a wide range of influences like the Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, and My Bloody Valentine. Irwin’s band, 5SOS, has always been under the Pop and Punk genre, so his album was in truly uncharted territory.
Ashton released 3 singles, Skinny Skinny, Have You Found What You’re Looking For, and Scar, before he released the album. He also released a music video for his song Skinny Skinny. All of his songs touch on very sensitive and triggering topics he has experienced, such as body dysmorphia, depression, suicude, anxiety, alcoholism, loss, and family.
The night of the album release, he went on an Instagram live to discuss the meaning behind every one of the songs. He claimed Skinny Skinny was about a conversation he had with his 16-year old brother about body image. In an interview with ‘Rolling Stone Australia’ he said, “I kind of always could never look myself in the mirror with my shirt off or whatever. For whatever reasons, it’s just something that latched onto me since I was very young, and I was always very afraid of my body image; very afraid of being bare to people.” He also claimed he dedicated the 4th track off the album, Greyhound, to where he grew up and his mother. In an Instagram post about the song, he discusses his struggles growing up without a father. He wrote that his mom was “a woman so tough that I didn’t even need a father to learn how to be a man.”
Every one of the songs on the album holds a special meaning and memory behind it for the 26-year-old. While this album is one of the most important things he has released, it is still a side project in terms of the band. He says, “It’s something that we’ve [5SOS] never been afraid of, we’ve always publicly talked about it, we’ve always confronted each other.” While his band mates have not been congratulating his music via social media, he claims that they fully support him and it is not the end of 5 Seconds of Summer.