Alex the Astronaut says she likes telling “little stories” but the gravity of her music is bigger than that. Australian singer-songwriter Alex Lynn writes songs that reflect the world around her, weaving personal truths into universal issues. Some of her observations are wry and playful; others candid and poignant. All of them capture the ordinary and extraordinary of everyday life.
Her songs have a way of landing at just the right moment, be that penning lyrics decrying billionaires for president in the lead up to Donald Trump’s election or delivering anthems about self-acceptance while the nation debates marriage equality. Bringing it all to life are the bright melodies and plucked guitar of her heart-swelling, folk-inflected pop.
The track that started it all was 2016’s ‘Already Home’, which contains the now-iconic line “And there’s billionaires for presidents / And parking fines at hospitals”. The following year Alex returned with ‘Not Worth Hiding’, an open letter to her 16-year-old self that details the journey to owning her sexuality. “It's not worth hiding if you've got something to say / And it's not worth smiling if you're feeling in pain / And it's not worth hiding if you think you might be gay / Or different in another way,” Alex sings.
“I figured this was something significant that happened to me and happens to lots of other people,” she says of ‘Not Worth Hiding’. “So I thought, okay this is something I need to write at some point and I may as well do it now. It’s important to me in the same way all my songs are important to me, but it’s also for young kids needing a bit of help and wanting to hear a positive story about it.”
‘Not Worth Hiding’ arrived as Australia was debating marriage equality and became the unofficial anthem of the Vote Yes movement. It was played by none other than Elton John on his Beats 1 radio show and ranked at number 23 in tastemaking radio station triple j’s Hottest 100, the publicly voted poll of the best songs of the year. Since then Alex has again made airwaves with the singles ‘Waste of Time’ and then ‘Happy Song’, the crowd favourite that’s even had politicians sing-a-long to the chorus on the national news. As Alex tells it, the song is about “the awkward middle part of a break up when you don’t really know what you’re doing”.
2017 also saw Alex share two EPs, To Whom It May Concern and See You Soon. On both releases she uses sprawling narratives and rich vignettes to detail the minutiae of daily life: the sight of her home city in winter, growing up, talking to her mum, bus rides, the tyranny of distance and her love of making music. Some are personal admissions; others invent lovestruck couples to tell stories or recruit her grandmother for a spoken word cameo.
Next up is ‘I Like to Dance’, her first single of 2019, which turns the spotlight on the devastation of domestic violence. It tells the story of an unnamed, hypothetical woman who’s experience violence at the hands of her partner. “You scream ‘Why don’t you leave!’ / My kids are two and three / I just can’t pay for what they need/ We both know he’d find me,” Alex sings.
Alex the Astronaut has taken her music to the stages of international festivals like The UK’s Great Escape, Primavera Sound in Spain, Manchester’s Neighbourhood Festival as well as Splendour in the Grass and triple j’s One Night Stand at home in Australia. She’s also performed a sold out national tour with co-headliner Stella Donnelly, as well as her own sold out headline tour in 2018.
Alex is as gifted in the areas of sports and academia as she is in music: you might have seen her train with the Greater Western Sydney Giants Australian Rules Football Club, or pen articles about outer space for the science publication Cosmos Magazine.
Her coalescing talents also form the origin story of her music career. At 18-years-old she moved to New York on a soccer scholarship with Long Island University, spending her days studying science and her nights writing songs in her dorm room. She tested her music out at open mic nights and small venues around the city, and when she returned home to Australia between semesters, she released her first single at 21.
Now back home in Sydney, Alex the Astronaut is ready to step into the next chapter of her career. Her talents might be out of this world, but her music is honest, profound and firmly down to earth.