It’s been a week since Alex The Astronaut released her debut EP, To Whom It May Concern, and with a fanbase like hers, she’s basically unstoppable. With her interesting fusion of electonica and folk music, listening to her soothing vocals is a perfect way to reminisce on nostalgic memories and seeking adventures of travel and love.
After successfully selling out three headlining shows during her Australian tour run in January, it’s no wonder fans have immediately gravitated towards Alex The Astronaut’s way with words and music. We get to know her in detail from this in-depth Q&A, learning about the musicians who have influenced her and the spark of creativity she had when it came to writing songs for To Whom It May Concern.
Your debut EP To Whom It May Concern has just been released. How do you feel about it?
I’m really excited. It’s my first physical release so it’s so cool to think that there’s something going out that I’ve made. Everyone who’s helped me has worked really hard to put together.
What’s the meaning behind the EP title?
I chose it because each song will apply to different people in different ways. When we were putting it together, I chose the songs that I thought were important to share for me, but I know that they won’t all connect with everyone. There wasn’t a commonality between the songs – it’s just a group of songs that I’ve written while I’m young and still learning about the world and I hope that people will like some of them!
What would you say sparked your creativity when it came to writing these songs?
All of them except for “Already Home” and “I Believe in Music” were written while I have been at college in the U.S. so I think that being over here has been the main inspiration. Being in America is sometimes like being in another world because I have another group of friends and home that never really interacts with my other home in Australia.
It’s been a great learning experience, I’ve had to work out how to survive on my own and be a real independent adult person, which has changed how I write and I think “Rockstar City” was the first experience here that I wrote about. I think it kind of encapsulates the type of growing up I’ve had to do. I’ve needed to put away the nervousness or self-doubt and just get on with doing what I love.
The main challenge was choosing which songs from all the songs that I’ve written would be on the E.P. Some of them were awful and easy to cut out of the mix but working out which songs I thought were important was like picking a favourite kid (I think? I don’t have any kids though). I’ve never liked listening to my own songs so that made it hard too. I ended up choosing the ones that I liked playing live most and I think that was a good litmus test because I think they’re the ones that connect best with people.
If you were to pick a song off the record, which one feels like home to you?
I would probably have to choose “Already Home”. I wrote it while I was on break in Australia and it was strange because I felt like I was always missing someone. When I’m in America, I’m missing my friends and family at home, and when I’m at home I’m missing the friends I’ve made over here. I have lots of fun and I’m really grateful that I get to be over here but sometimes I have days where I miss someone and that’s when already home applies.
Who are the musicians you look up to for inspiration and why?
I look up to people like Courtney Barnett and David Bowie. Courtney Barnett’s songs are so genuine and as an artist, she seems like she’s unaffected by the success that she’s had and captures really honest moments in her songs, which is what any artist strives to do. David Bowie’s uniqueness is what I’ve always loved about him. He stood up for what he believed and wrote music that he thought was important to share.
What would you say has been the most rewarding lesson you’ve taken from your music career so far?
The most rewarding lesson so far I think has been that doing your best can sometimes pay off. I don’t think that it always will and it hasn’t always for me but this time it has and I’ve been really lucky to get to release my first E.P. and to be able to share what I’ve been writing with others.
To Whom It May Concern is out now