For Fans Of: Amy MacDonald, Courtney Barnett, Paul Kelly
Australian songstress Alexandra Lynn certainly lives up to her musical moniker. A traveller of space and sound, her music is filled with soft “folktronic” melodies that defy any genre tropes, and wise lyrics that emphasise that home is truly where the heart is.
Alex was living in New York on a soccer scholarship studying science when she wrote her debut EP To Whom It May Concern, which was released in March 2017. Experiencing independence for the first time in the big city, she encapsulated her observations and strange tales of her new-found lifestyle into five passionate guitar songs. For example, ‘Rockstar City’ recounts her live debut in New York City, while ‘I Believe in Music’ is a biographical snapshot of her love affair with song.
She followed this up in autumn that year with the punchy See You Soon EP. Like To Whom It May Concern, it’s a five-song set of vivid train-of-thought narratives, and bare acoustic bones bracing bright pop melodies. Saying farewell to NYC, it’s a final wave over the shoulder to her former muse. Each song is a almost fable-like, dealing with the challenges of sexuality (‘Not Worth Hiding’), growing up (‘Reflector’), coming home and finding herself a tourist in her hometown (‘What Sydney Looks Like in June’), the tyranny of distance (‘New York’), and love (‘William and Georgia’).
On the topic of finding these lyrics within her experiences, Alex says “I had to make friends again; I had to rebuild relationships. I’d had one month bursts of seeing people here then leaving again. But now I’m back for good.”
If Alex’s departure inspired songs of reflection, her return has her connecting with a growing audience. “I’ve always been behind a computer in America, just watching stats or reading messages,” she says of watching her popularity blossom from afar. “So meeting people in real life has been weird. I’ve been at the merch stand and people are coming up saying ‘Oh I’m really worried about talking to you.’ I’m like, ‘oh you really shouldn’t be I’m a massive nerd.’”
In July 2018 she released the first of her two latest singles: ‘Waste of Time’. Another stripped-back acoustic track, its fast pace matches the scattered lyrics that speak of relieving herself of her inner “control freak” and living more freely. The accompanying music video shows her trying to put that to practice, sporting a “No Worries” top, but still showing it’s a chore.
Despite the title, November’s ‘Happy Song’ is a sombre song that shines a light on a very particular moment in a breakup. The slow tempo and more soothing mellow guitar melodies allow for her honest lyrics to shine through more than ever.
“I wanted to make a story that ran through really well about a messy breakup.” she says. “I wanted to capture the middle part where no one wants to cut the cord, but you both know it’s over. I put a phone call as the bridge early on because I think that’s where a lot of messy breakups end up; phone calls when one of you is out.”
This track is the one she spent the longest writing and it’s reflected in the quality. Over a year in the making, ‘Happy Song’ stays true to her signature sound but shows growth in where she can take it.
If you want to get just a tiny glimpse of what she’s like live, check out her live album recorded at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne last November…alex the astronaut / Amy MacDonald / Courtney Barnett / introducing / Paul Kelly