ALEX THE ASTRONAUT Announces Sophomore Album ‘How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater’ Out July 22nd + New Single
March 4, 2022 BY Danielle Romeo
ALEX THE ASTRONAUT is thrilled to announce her sophomore album How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, out July 22, 2022 via Nettwerk. The follow up to her widely praised 2020 debut album The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing is an intimate exploration of post-traumatic growth, and a body of work affirming Alex as a truly essential songwriter, capable of transforming the way we view ourselves and the world around us. It features singles “Growing Up,” “Airport” and vividly heartfelt new single “Octopus,” which comes with a warm animated video capturing a journey of self-discovery that reflectsAlex the Astronaut’s recent Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. The singer, songwriter and storyteller is also confirmed to perform at SXSW 2022 – look for more information on her performances soon.
A gloriously anthemic track, “Octopus” opens on a burst of bubble effects meant to mimic the aural sensation of Alex’s snorkeling expeditions, an activity she took on during the Sydney lockdowns. Capturing her trademark ability to merge the playful with the profound, “Octopus” doubles down to explore a jarring shift in self-perception brought on by Alex’s recent Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis (“I think I’m like an octopus sometimes/Trying so hard to blend in”). Directed & animated by Bianca Bosso & Sam Murphy at Interns Creative, the video for “Octopus” tells this story through an octopus who navigates the highs and lows of getting through high school.
LISTEN / WATCH “OCTOPUS” HERE
“A group of octopus can be called octopuses, octopi, or octopods. I like octopods the best,” notes Alex. “Octopods can change colour to blend in with their surroundings, regrow limbs, and decorate their houses with shells. They are amazing geniuses that live amongst us. Growing up we learn that only people that show a certain set of skills can be called clever, or valuable to society. When I was diagnosed with ASD last year I was worried people would look at me funny and think that I don’t fit when they found out, which they do sometimes but I learnt that we all have a different set of superpowers, like our friends the octopods. All of us need a little help from our friends sometimes and all of us have a superpower that could help the world grow. If we stopped worrying about how much everyone does or doesn’t fit I think we’d all be braver, more curious and much kinder.”
How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater documents both the seemingly mundane (a haircut, a therapy session, a trip to the beach and the supermarket) and utterly life-changing moments (her experience as a caretaker and the PTSD that followed, her recent ASD diagnosis) imbuing her songs with equal parts awareness and sensitivity, imagination and idiosyncratic humor. Reinforcing Alex the Astronaut’s graceful ability to merge the playful with the profound, How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater taps into new vulnerabilities for Alex as she documents the complexities of life, her strength as a songwriter magnified by her sense of empathy and embracing a new level of emotional transparency.
On How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, Alex the Astronaut shares, “I’d written a couple songs that were far more vulnerable than anything I’d done before, and I started to see that I needed to keep being that vulnerable if I wanted to make something that contributed to the world. I like to write songs that have a purpose to them—so even if it felt uncomfortable sometimes I had to tell myself, ‘Let’s just keep swimming.’”
An unforgettably original lyricist, Alex embeds How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater with references to Peter Pan and Paul Simon, “Real Housewives” and Jack the Ripper, endlessly striking a delicate balance between forthright and impressionistic (from ‘To Be Something Good’: “I try stay off my phone, I think it hurts me/A million drops of pain in light and sound”). Mixed by Miro Mackie (St. Vincent, Dirty Projectors) and produced by Alex the Astronaut with Sam Cromack, Daniel Hanson, and Dean Hanson of Brisbane band Ball Park Music, How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater brings her intensely personal storytelling to a kaleidoscopic form of folk/indie-pop. Alex the Astronaut hopes with the release of How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, her self-reflection might inspire listeners to open up and re-examine how they connect with others.
Alex the Astronaut has captured hearts and fans around the globe. The artist has racked up over 25 million streams along with media support at The New York Times, NPR, BBC Radio 1, triple j, The Guardian,The Line of Best Fit, and more. She has released two EPs, To Whom It May Concern (2017) and See You Soon (2017) and her critically acclaimed debut album The Theory of Absolutely Nothing (2020), which was named “a work of genius” by NME, included as an Honourable Mention in Rolling Stone’s Top 200 Australian Albums of All Time, and saw her named to the prestigious Out 100 list in 2020 for her work in support of LGBTQ+ issues.
‘HOW TO GROW A SUNFLOWER UNDERWATER’ TRACKLISTING
1. Growing Up
6. South London
7. Ride My Bike
8. To Be Something Good
9. Northern Lights