Foto-© Jamie Heath

Das neue, heute erschienene Alex The Astronaut-Album How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater dokumentiert sowohl die scheinbar alltäglichen (einen Haarschnitt, eine Therapiesitzung, ein Ausflug an den Strand und in den Supermarkt) als auch die absolut lebensverändernden Momente (ihre Erfahrung als Hausmeisterin und die darauf folgende PTBS, ihre kürzliche ASD-Diagnose ) und verleiht ihren Songs zu gleichen Teilen Bewusstsein und Sensibilität, Fantasie und eigenwilligen Humor. So unterstreichen die neuen Songs Alex the Astronauts anmutige Fähigkeit, das Spielerische mit dem Tiefgründigen zu verbinden, und zeigt neue Verwundbarkeiten für die Musikerin auf, während sie die Komplexität des Lebens dokumentiert. Ihre Stärke als Songwriterin wird dabei durch ihren Sinn für Empathie und eine neue Ebene emotionaler Transparenz verstärkt. Was alles hinter den Songs steckt erzählt uns die australische Sängerin, Songwriterin und Geschichtenerzählerin im Track by Track zum Album!

1. Growing Up 

Growing Up is about when you realise you are certainly not a child anymore. I think that can happen to people at any time and you have to work out how to properly say goodbye to having someone answer all your questions. It took about an hour to write. I’d been really stressed about writing a good song and I’d been going to the beach a lot to go snorkelling. I had this thought that if everyone works out at some point that growing up is learning that you don’t get your questions answered. You have to just take it day by day and find the people you love to help you see all the fun things along the way. Like yellow fishies. 

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2. Haunted 

Haunted is about trying to get through as a young person with a PTSD diagnosis but it can be about whatever you hear it as. I wrote the song in a few hours thinking about all the things that had happened in the few weeks before; my parents and I had gone to Teppanyaki and the charismatic chef threw food at us and we all laughed. I’d moved house, I’d been on a date where I’d mixed up the word “hand sanitizer” and accidentally said “foot sanitizer” because I was so nervous. I went bright red. The lyrics “my four roommates watched desperate housewives” are actually wrong. I got confused between Desperate Housewives and The Real Housewives. The first little audio clip is my roommate pretending to be one of the Real Housewives. We recorded it on my phone while sitting on the couch watching TV. It’s about trying to move along. 

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3. Octopus 

Underwater life became one of my obsessions in the first lockdown of 2020. I was going snorkelling every couple days and I started to feel like I was getting to know the little community I was going to see. A friend of mine texted me saying I had to watch “My Octopus Teacher” and I then watched at least 4 times. I love interspecies friends. Octopus is about coming to terms with the fact that, while autism can make some things harder, we all need help to get by. I was diagnosed in early 2021 and it really rocked me. I felt like there was this essential piece of information that I hadn’t had when I’d needed it. It made me feel really different to everyone around me. Eventually I got to the point where I started to appreciate that like the fish and the octopus and the sharks and animals, we all have different sets of knowledge and we all make the world turn around. 

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4. Airport 

Airport is about two people who’ve had a young relationship coming back to it and seeing if they can rebuild after time has passed.  It’s a follow up to “Growing Up” when you work out you actually have to reflect, admit your mistakes, and do some work to be in a proper relationship. I wanted to write a love story that doesn’t have an end, that you can choose what happens to them. Pick your own adventure. I think after the pandemic a lot of people have been thinking about what it would be like to get to see everyone you’ve missed. I love Phoebe Bridgers’ music and “You’re so Vain” by Carly Simon and I thought in the scene of someone picking someone up from the airport those songs are what I would play. And then turn off Phoebe because I’m jealous about how good her music is. 

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5. Sick 

Sick is about looking after a partner who’s going through a big illness. The most horrible thing about being a carer is the powerlessness you feel about not being able to make the other person better. Anyone who’s looked after a sick person knows how sad it is when the person you’re looking after breaks down about being sick and when it’ll end and you can’t give them that end date or comfort them without lying. Being sick and watching the whole world go on without you is just devastating. I looked up every medical journal on chronic illness, watched documentaries, tried all the alternative therapies, diets, exercise therapy, found doctors on doctors on doctors to try and make it better. I learnt more from being a carer than anything I’d ever experienced. Cooking for someone else, being in charge of organising doctors appointments, getting to and from the appointments, organising medications, as well as overlooking someone’s sleep and mood and physical and emotional health everyday for 19 months wasn’t something I thought I’d experience at 23. My partner got better in the end so we were lucky. I have so much respect for everyone that’s still in it. 

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6. South London 

I lived in London when I was little. My sister and I got to ride our bikes down along the Thames with our mum and dad and our dog Tilly. I loved playing soccer there, when my Dad set off fireworks on Guy Fawkes night in the local park, when we saw snow for the first time. I think a kid at my school got in trouble for throwing ice snow balls. I went back there for the first time to go on tour a few years ago. I went to my old house and I stood outside, there was a different car sitting in our driveway. A man walked out of the house. He must have thought I was a bit strange because it was a quiet street. I wrote it all down and when I reread it in the lockdown it was funny. I just always thought I’d be able to go back soon and then we weren’t. I wanted to write it down so I didn’t lose it. I feel so lucky to have all the memories. 

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7. Ride My Bike

Ride my bike is about reckoning with the end of a relationship and how you can move forward with what you’ve learnt from someone else. It’s also about hating the gym, riding your bike, and trying to do a lot of different exercise activities to try and distract yourself from a breakup.  

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8. Something Good 

To be something good is about seeing that the world around you is quite fucked up. And trying to work out what part of you is a part of the problem and what is something good. This song was recorded over the sea, with Miro Mackie and Daniel Chau in LA while I was in Sydney, during a pandemic when no one was able to see their families. We were able to sit together for hours at a time with a screen for hours at a time and build something. That was pretty good. 

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9. Northern Lights 

I don’t think I really want to say a lot about Northern Lights in this campaign except to say that while it’s the angriest song I’ve ever written, it isn’t meant to be a mean song. It’s about understanding what’s happened when something has gone wrong and how to move forward. 

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10. Haircut 

Haircut is about personal growth and self discovery with your friends. While it sounds like a coming-out song, it isn’t completely. It’s about gender and how we all grow up taking little steps into who we want to be, whether they’re big or small. 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. 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. If you listen closely Dan pretends to be a seagull in the second verse.

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Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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