When you’ve been brandished with the banner of being one of Australia’s most powerful and important songwriters, and you’re only in your mid-twenties with just a couple of EPs under your belt, you’ve surely got to have the weight of the worlds on your shoulders as you speed towards releasing your debut. Then again, few individuals are Alexandra Lynn, aka Alex The Astronaut, who on ‘The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing’ delivers a masterclass in mixing bewitchingly beautiful melodies, honey-soaked harmonies and sublime storytelling songwriting.
Weaving words willingly and wittingly to paint pictures of the ever-changing experiences and emotions we human’s undertake as we navigate through life, Alex The Astronaut truly lives up to the Courtney Barnett comparisons, and then some. On the Lucy Spraggan-like strum-and-narrate opener ‘Happy Song,’ Alex ruminates ‘Please leave the music on, we’ll slip into a song that can take us from our minds, strange how a song can do that sometimes.’ Ironically, it’s this very sentiment that her music enables, taking you from your own world to another’s.
While her songs drift through tales of unexpected pregnancies, domestic abuse-riddled relationships, and the trials and tribulations of love and loss; they also take you on a trip musically, soundtracking the storytelling with sounds that truly reflect the tone at play. ‘Lost’ flies by with punchy percussion and a plucky bassline that puts you on edge, much like it’s stories protagonists whilst ‘Caught In The Middle’ is a gentle acoustic ditty that bubbles and builds into a delightful sing-along that matches perfectly the celebration of life’s existential intricacies that it covers.
There are moments, though few and far between, where the songwriting drives itself around the block a time or two, where the songs just aren’t at the standard the one’s surrounding them are. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it averageness of Banksia is blown to dust in-between the hauntingly harmonic Christmas In July and the absolutely anthemic ‘I Think You’re Great.’ On the flipside, this is testament to the sheer strength of Alex The Astronaut’s songwriting in some ways.
Whether harmonies are warming up your heart or strings are softly succumbing to the space between verses, Alex The Astronaut’s understanding of her craft is second-to-none, and while there’s a little bit of miss in between the plenty of hits, there’s no doubt Alex The Astronaut really could be one of the most powerful songwriters of our generation.