Poor Alex The Astronaut… having to live and study in New York City, of all places.
She might live there, but she still calls Australia home and it’s home she’s just released her second ever single, ‘Holes In The Story’.
In an attempt to fill said holes in her story, we sent our series of questions in Alex’s direction in the hope we’d Get To Know her better. Here’s what she had to say…;
01. Name : My name’s Alex Lynn or Alex the Astronaut.
02. Where are you based? I live and study in New York, but I’m from Sydney. I study maths and phyics on a soccer scholarship at a college on Long Island.
03. How did you get your start in music? I started writing songs when I was 13, but they were terrible. I listened to a lot of music. I loved Paul Kelly. I loved stories and how he manages to bring them to life, so I tried making my own. I sang at restaurants and bars in Sydney when I turned 18, so when I moved to New York for college I thought I’d try play there too.
I got a few gigs and it pushed me to start properly recording my songs. I emailed Ben McCarthy because I loved the work that he did with Gordi and we agreed to record three songs while I was home in Australia. He’s been great to work with and we’ve become friends. We worked hard to release them and I’m really happy to be back in Sydney to share the songs with everyone and play shows here.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Curious, stubborn, interested, adventurous, and hard working.
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Ben and I decided that folktronica was the best genre to work within to bring the best out of the songs I wrote. And I think everything I wrote working up to that was just writing and rewriting. I think that writing bad songs is as important as writing good ones because the bad ones help you learn and develop.
I try to write as much as I can and focus on making sure my lyrics are layered and succinct. I’m still learning. I think you’re supposed to be always learning, so I just try and listen to lots of music and take in as much of it to help myself be better.
06. Who have been your musical influences? Paul Kelly was my first major influence. As I’ve grown up I’ve picked up a few different ones. I really like Bob Dylan and the stories he tells. I love David Bowie I think he was an incredible artist because of how reassuring and inspiring his music is. He wasn’t afraid to be different, which seems like something that’s said about plenty of artists. But not only was he different, he seemed to really want to help other people be confidently different as well.
I like Jack Johnson because I think he writes clever lyrics. I heard Lily Allen’s song ‘LDN’ when I was living in London when I was eleven and I loved how she spoke about real parts of the city and didn’t rose tint anything. That really pushed me to start thinking about writing about real things that I’d seen as well. Courtney Barnett has also become one of my influences over the past few years.
07. What are your favourite songs of all time? ‘Under Pressure’ by David Bowie and Queen, ‘How To Make Gravy’ by Paul Kelly, ‘Simple Twist Of Fate’ by Bob Dylan, ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie.
08. What was the first album you bought? Well the first album that I remember listening to in full was Paul Kelly’s ‘Nothing But A Dream’, which my parents had in the car. I still listen to all the songs from it.
09. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I play soccer for my college team. I’ve played since I was five and it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s really helped me keep organized and make friends while I’m over in New York. I’ve been lucky enough to meet people from all over the world and some of my best friends are Swedish now, so I’m going over there next year to visit.
10. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? I love physics but I don’t think I’d want it to be my sole career. I would like to work in social justice or for a not-for-profit, so I’d be able to use the things I’ve learnt to help other people.
11. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? I think the Muhummad Ali quote “I run long on the road before I dance on the lights”. It works for everything and it also reminds me to be patient with things, which I sometimes have trouble with.
12. Tell us about your latest release. I just released my second single ‘Holes In The Story’. It’s a song about breaking away from norms and it follows a couple who are a bit different and a bad guy who’s having a hard time. Ben McCarthy produced it and we really wanted to bring out the fun sentiment behind the song, while making sure the serious sections were really clear.
13. What do your future plans involve? Writing and releasing more songs. I want to tour and share my songs with as many people as I can as well.
14. Where can our audience catch you live? I have two shows coming up at Oxford Art Factory in Sydney; on June 10 supporting Th’Fika and June 11 supporting Project Montreal.
WEBSITE : http://www.alextheastronaut.com
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/youfoundflynn/
TWITTER : https://www.twitter.com/AtheAstronaut
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/alex.the.astronaut/
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/alextheastronaut