With her debut album The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing around the corner, Sydney-born singer-songwriter Alex The Astronaut talked to us about lockdown in Australia, her debut album and what else she has planned for the rest of the year.
Alex broke into the scene in 2016 when her track Not Worth Hiding became an unofficial anthem of the Australian equal marriage referendum and was endorsed by Sir Elton John on his Beats 1 radio show. Since then, the Aussie artist has released two critically acclaimed EPs and played numerous festivals including The Great Escape, Neighbourhood and Splendour In The Grass.
Hi Alex, how are you today?
Alex: Hello! I am well, I hope you are also well.
How has it been for you since lockdown began over in Australia?
It’s been okay, I really miss touring and playing shows but it’s been interesting adapting to life on the inside. I’ve learnt how to use a power drill to make an outdoor cinema, learnt some drums, and can now make risotto.
For those that haven’t heard of you yet, how would you best describe your sound and who have been your biggest influences so far?
I would describe my music as fitting as many words as I can into a small space with guitars and string synths over the top. I grew up listening to what my parents listened to which was Supertramp, Queen, Meatloaf, Robbie Williams, and Cat Stevens. I always really loved Paul Kelly. The first artist I heard on the radio that I felt like was kind of like me was Courtney Barnett.
You have just released your new single ‘Christmas In July’. Can you tell us how that track came about?
Yeah sure, I wrote the song about falling in love. I think it’s the first proper love song that I tried to write. It was all in pieces with a verse here and a little bit a of a bridge in another note book and I got to my last day of recording with Jonathan in London and he asked me if I had anymore songs. So I tried frantically to put all the bits together and make it into a song.
And was there a particular style you were looking for when you wrote it?
I was trying to go for a classic piano ballad Christmas song and so we used lots of fun orchestral sounds like the big timpani drums in the bridge. We also used a cute little colourful glockenspiel like the ones you play in school Christmas concerts.
You are also about to release your debut album ‘The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing’. Can you tell us what we can expect from that?
Sure, it’s ten songs with one outro recording of me saying bye bye and thank you for listening. I tried to write ten songs that each had its own special story but came together to fit into the theme of growing up and realising you have a lot to learn about the things that happen in the world. I named it the theory of absolutely nothing as a bit of a nod to Stephen Hawking’s principle of the theory of everything.
And did the record turn out how you hoping for?
I think so, I wanted to fill it with stories that I felt meant a lot and I think I did that to the best of my ability.
The coronavirus outbreak has obviously affected everyone’s plans, but what have you got in store for the rest of the year?
No idea! Hahah. That feels okay though now, I’m just going with it.
And finally, what is your dream ambition to achieve as an artist?
I would love to come to the UK and play Glastonbury festival, and if I did I really want to also get a big pole with a flag or something on it there and walk through the crowd and get it on TV that looks very fun.
Alex The Astronaut’s debut album The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing is out on Friday, August 21st and is available to pre-order and pre-save here.