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Alex the Astronaut Details New LP, ‘How to Grow a Sunflower Underwater’

Accompanied by new single, ‘Octopus’, Alex the Astronaut is more vulnerable than ever on her forthcoming new album.

Jamie Heath*

In the wake of singles such as “Growing Up” and “Airport”, Alex the Astronaut is back with not just a new single, but the details of her forthcoming second album, How to Grow a Sunflower Underwater.

Set for release on July 22nd, How to Grow a Sunflower Underwater arrives almost two years on from the release of The Theory of Absolutely Nothing, and sees Alex Lynn evolving not just as an artist, but as a human too.

Lead single “Octopus” highlights this, with the track itself exploring the jarring shift in Alex’s own self-perception following her Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. The track also comes accompanied by a music video, directed and animated by Bianca Bosso & Sam Murphy at Interns Creative, as it tells the story of an octopus as they navigate the highs and lows of high school.

“A group of octopus can be called octopuses, octopi, or octopods,” Alex explains of the track. “I like octopods the best. Octopods can change colour to blend in with their surroundings, regrow limbs, and decorate their houses with shells. They are amazing geniuses that live amongst us. Growing up we learn that only people that show a certain set of skills can be called clever, or valuable to society.

“When I was diagnosed with ASD last year I was worried people would look at me funny and think that I don’t fit when they found out, which they do sometimes but I learnt that we all have a different set of superpowers, like our friends the octopods,” she adds. “All of us need a little help from our friends sometimes and all of us have a superpower that could help the world grow.

“If we stopped worrying about how much everyone does or doesn’t fit I think we’d all be braver, more curious and much kinder.”

Set to appear on How to Grow a Sunflower Underwater when it arrives in July, Alex the Astronaut’s second album sees the acclaimed artist exploring all sides of the rich tapestry of life.

With tracks focused around the mundane (ranging from a haircut, a supermarket trip, or even trips to the beach and supermarket), they’re equally complemented by heavier, life-changing moments (including her own ASD diagnosis, or the PTSD that followed her experience as a caretaker). Above all, it’s Alex the Astronaut at her most empathetic and emotionally-transparent.

“I’d written a couple songs that were far more vulnerable than anything I’d done before, and I started to see that I needed to keep being that vulnerable if I wanted to make something that contributed to the world,” Alex explains.

“I like to write songs that have a purpose to them—so even if it felt uncomfortable sometimes I had to tell myself, ‘Let’s just keep swimming.'”

Alex the Astronaut’s “Octopus” is out now, while How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater will be released on July 22nd, with pre-orders available now.

Alex the Astronaut – How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater track list:

1. Growing Up
2. Haunted
3. Octopus
4. Airport
5. Sick
6. South London
7. Ride My Bike
8. To Be Something Good
9. Northern Lights
10. Haircut