Sunday, November 08, 2020

Ashton Irwin - Skinny Skinny single review

Ashton Irwin, best known as a member of 5 Seconds of Summer has gone solo with his new album Superbloom. Irwin’s first single release from the album was the song ‘Skinny Skinny’ a song which very much set the tone for Irwin’s solo approach and for the new album. 

The song opens with an acoustic guitar which sets the tone of the song and shows it will be a stripped back song audio wise, as the song progresses there is the introduction of an electronic style guitar solo before returning to the acoustic sound of the rest of the song. The solo almost feeling like a culmination or an outburst which seems fitting for the songs lyrical content and meaning. 

Sonically, the song seemingly represents the ups and downs of the body dysmorphia struggle with the slower deeper acoustic tones and also the higher upbeat electro sounds and the song itself takes the listener on a journey of the internal battle with the debilitating thoughts of this mental illness. 

Instrumentally and musically the song is almost ironic because the meaning behind the song and the lyrics show the intense battle of thoughts, feelings and emotions experienced by Irwin and his struggle with body dysmorphia and the experience is seemingly a constant never ending struggle there’s a chaotic and frantic feeling of an overactive mind that never relaxes; and yet the song itself is very simple with the acoustic guitar and Irwin’s vocals. This could be a representation of living with the condition in that seemingly everything on the surface seems calm and unassuming but appearances can be deceiving and the electro guitar solo could be the breaking point where the facade cannot be kept up anymore. 

The raw emotion is evident within the song with the ‘I wanna eat, I wanna stay thin’ vocal sections where you can hear the pain in Irwin’s voice as he vocalises the mental battle he faces with his dysmorphic demons and the back and forth he has of wanting to just be ‘normal’ and wanting to eat, but his inner voices destroy that ability to be ‘normal’ by making him want to be thin and he faces the back and forth of which voice he listens to. 

However, it does feel like the song has undertones of hope within it, the lyric ‘Hey skinny skinny stop your thinking bout tomorrow, you’ll never make it like that (too bad)’ the lyrics acknowledge that body dysmorphia is such a dangerous mental illness to suffer from with the lyrics displaying that the thoughts can lead to death/suicide with the use of you’ll never make it; but it also shows the inner dark voices still in the background with the addition of too bad as a quieter background vocal. But there is the hope in the lyric to with Irwin opting to say stop thinking because thinking about it leads to overthinking and the overriding dark thoughts brought on as a result, he’s using his own experience to try and offer help and advice by using the lyrics to talk not only to his own mind but also to the minds of the listeners. 

Using ‘Skinny Skinny’ as his first single release of his first step into a solo project, Irwin really sets the tone for what to expect from him and his music because this song is not a ‘chart’ style song; it’s a raw, unapologetic stripped back song that tells a truth not only for Irwin but also most likely for a lot of people in similar situations. The song is seemingly a conscious choice by Irwin to show the world what this project is about, this project is not about making money it’s about a pure passion for music and this single represents that and tells the world what they can expect from Irwin as a solo artist. 

- Georgina Shine


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