ALEX THE ASTRONAUT Shares “Haircut”; New Album out July 22nd
May 20, 2022 BY Danielle Romeo
ALEX THE ASTRONAUT released her new single “Haircut” today from How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, her upcoming album and follow up to acclaimed debut album The Theory of Absolutely Nothing (2020), out July 22 via Nettwerk. The track was inspired by a dramatic haircut in 2020 when the artist cut off all her hair for charity. The bubbly and upbeat “Haircut” is a song about personal growth and enjoying the journey of self-discovery with your friends and follows the singer, songwriter and storyteller’s previoussingles – the gloriously anthemic “Octopus,” inspired by her shift in self-perception brought on by her recent Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis; the sublimely devastating yet hopeful “Airport”; and her rumination on the kind of life uncertainty that is worldview-shifting, “Growing Up.”
Listen to “Haircut” here: https://alextheastronaut.ffm.to/haircut.
“Haircut” shines a light on Alex the Astronaut’s unique ability to contrast the small moments many of us share (“Hot chips, Uno cards, books I should have already read / They keep stacking up I should just stop buying them”) with the profound and life-changing ones. Throughout the song, Alex celebrates the power of going through big life shifts with friends and the pure euphoria that can follow large life decisions – in this case, feeling more like herself than ever after she cut off all her hair for charity. (“Cause since I cut my hair I’ve been feeling so much better / It was more than that / Now the mirror looks back / And I feel like who I am supposed to / Do you know that feeling? / Like the lights are up and you’re the best thing they’ve seen ever”). “Haircut” is the perfect companion soundtrack to sunny days, mid-week road trips and friends taking over the living room at a houseparty, jumping and shouting along to your favorite song in a circle.
“When Australia opened up for a brief month or two last year my friends and I went to the blue mountains for a few days,” noted Alex on the moment with her friends that informed the genesis of “Haircut.”“We went swimming in this very cold waterfall that gave me and my friend Taz a headache because it was so cold. This song is about then, that even though the world is a scary and sometimes mean and dangerous place to be in if you’re different, if you have a group of people that love you it can help you be okay. (And, if you listen closely Dan [Hanson, from Ball Park Music] pretends to be a seagull in the second verse.)”
Alex the Astronaut’s forthcoming second album How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater 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. The album 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 autism spectrum 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.
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 Underwaterbrings 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.