Alex The Astronaut Shares Video For Latest Single “Octopus”

ALEX THE ASTRONAUT is thrilled to announce her sophomore album How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, out July 22, 2022 via Nettwerk. The follow up to her widely praised 2020 debut album The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing is an intimate exploration of post-traumatic growth, and a body of work affirming Alex as a truly essential songwriter, capable of transforming the way we view ourselves and the world around us. It features singles “Growing Up,” “Airport” and vividly heartfelt new single “Octopus,” which comes with a warm animated video capturing a journey of self-discovery that reflects Alex the Astronaut’s recent Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis. The singer, songwriter and storyteller is also confirmed to perform at SXSW 2022 – look for more information on her performances soon.

A gloriously anthemic track, “Octopus” opens on a burst of bubble effects meant to mimic the aural sensation of Alex’s snorkeling expeditions, an activity she took on during the Sydney lockdowns. Capturing her trademark ability to merge the playful with the profound, “Octopus”doubles down to explore a jarring shift in self-perception brought on by Alex’s recent Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis (“I think I’m like an octopus sometimes/Trying so hard to blend in”). Directed & animated by Bianca Bosso & Sam Murphy at Interns Creative, the video for “Octopus” tells this story through an octopus who navigates the highs and lows of getting through high school.

“A group of octopus can be called octopuses, octopi, or octopods. I like octopods the best,” notes Alex. “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. 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.”

How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater documents both the seemingly mundane (a haircut, a therapy session, a trip to the beach and the supermarket) and utterly life-changing moments (her experience as a caretaker and the PTSD that followed, her recent ASD diagnosis) imbuing her songs with equal parts awareness and sensitivity, imagination and idiosyncratic humor. Reinforcing Alex the Astronaut’s graceful ability to merge the playful with the profound, How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater taps into new vulnerabilities for Alex as she documents the complexities of life, her strength as a songwriter magnified by her sense of empathy and embracing a new level of emotional transparency. 

On How to Grow A Sunflower Underwater, Alex the Astronaut shares, “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. 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.’”

Photo Courtesy: Jamie Heath