5 Seconds of Summer band member releases debut solo album

Iriwn first became involved in 5SOS in late 2011. Superbloom was released on Oct. 23.

Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashups

Iriwn first became involved in 5SOS in late 2011. ‘Superbloom’ was released on Oct. 23.

In the early days of October,  5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) fans were shocked by drummer Ashton Irwin quickly archiving most of his old Instagram content and changing his profile picture. 

Usually, when an artist makes a change like this, it doesn’t go unnoticed and is a sign of a new era. With a new era comes new music. However, other bandmates made no changes to their accounts, showing that Irwin was in this alone. Later on that week, Irwin announced he would be releasing his own solo album that he recorded over quarantine. 

The announcement caused many fans to go absolutely ballistic and start fretting over the idea that this may be the end of 5SOS. Luckily, Irwin shows no intention of leaving the band and has even kept his title of “drummer” on his social media bios. 

To Irwin, releasing this music was something he felt he had to do after coming up with so much useful material while stuck at home, as he explained in a recent post. 

The new album, “Superbloom,” marks the start of Irwin’s solo career and kicked off with the release of three singles to give fans a taste of what they were in for. “Superbloom” was released on Oct. 22 after singles “Skinny Skinny,” “SCAR” and “Have You Found What You’re Looking For?”. 

This album brings many new genres to the table for Irwin and contrasts his work with 5SOS. It’s clear that the inspiration he found for this album is quite different compared to the inspiration the band had for their past works. Early grunge styles, similar to the music of Nirvana and The Beatles, are present on the record and open up a new door of opportunity for Irwin as an artist. 

When I first listened to the album all the way through, I was blown away by the heavy amounts of metal and rock influence. It is definitely not something I was expecting. Every song has a gritty amount of soul that sounds completely opposite of the pop-punk electro sounds 5SOS is known for. 

Although some tracks, like “Have You Found What You’re Looking For” and “Greyhound,” sound repetitive and a little basic (it’s almost hard to tell the difference between them), they still hold importance with the messages behind the lyrics. Some of the biggest messages Irwin opens up about are present in “SCAR,” where he sings about suicide, and also in “Skinny Skinny,” where the main preface regards earring disorders. Without having done much research, I could already hear some recurring themes present in the songs, like eating disorders, harmful self-images and the difficulties of being in the spotlight. 

With these darker messages come some brighter ones, including moments where Irwin highlights his current relationship and how it brought positivity to his life. 

I would have to say that I prefer the aesthetic of this album over the past two 5SOS albums. It feels more authentic and less mass-produced for the general public. 

You can tell Irwin wasn’t worried about getting plays on the radio, but rather writing and producing something he felt would connect him to his fans. 

Overall, “Superbloom” is a huge stepping stone for Irwin’s music career, and I hope this isn’t the last we hear from him. As someone who has been a fan of 5SOS for many years, I’m glad to see him step away and get the refreshment he needed as an artist. It is an incredible debut album, and I applaud Irwin for his bravery.