Track Review: Skinny Skinny // Ashton Irwin


Trigger Warning: body dysmorphia

‘Skinny Skinny’ is a sore scar that highlights Ashton Irwin’s experience with body dysmorphia as he opens up about the mental torment that affects millions who struggle with body image. The 5 Second of Summer Aussie drummer, Ashton Irwin has begun his own solo journey by releasing his first ever single. ‘Skinny Skinny’ is the first glimpse inside his solo debut album Superbloom away from the 5SOS boys and is set for release on 23rd October. We have heard snippets of Irwin’s vocals in 5SOS tracks and live lounges, but this gives his vocals and creativity a chance to shine.

This dark, yet powerful track co-written by Irwin and Matthew Pauling, who also produced and mixed the folk-pop inspired single, is unlike anything Irwin has released with 5SOS. The track begins with an acoustic guitar along with delicate vocals, which creates an intimate feel that starts to unmask his personal confrontations with body dysmorphia.

Throughout Irwin alludes towards eating disorders, specifically bulimia and anorexia with lyrics that are felt through the emotion in his voice: “You tear me up all of the time / my tongue is tasteless, my heart is barren / my fingers stretching into my larynx.”

The Beatles-inspired layered harmonies of Irwin’s vocals flow flawlessly, acting as his own conscious telling him how he should feel. The electric guitar kicks off the bridge with a hard-hitting sinister, yet striking moment that portrays Irwin trying to escape from the demons that sit behind the mirror.

This track was inspired by a conversation Irwin had with his 16-year-old brother about body image. He explains to fans on Instagram, “we must fight against a common darkness that shadows our ability to live truthfully, to live without self-doubt, and love ourselves for what we are.”

If this is the first solo single that Irwin has created, then Superblooom is going to be a stunning piece of work. Scars take time to heel, but Irwin is showing us we’re not alone in that process.

Words by Chloe Martin

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