Built around a squeaky-clean throwback sound and filled with all the wonder of the cosmos, the deep-thinking track finds Carpenter exploring the bounds of what it truly means to be human. She touches on everything from faith and spirituality to consciousness and the afterlife in the rootsy track, but somehow never falls too far into the metaphysical weeds, ending up with a satisfying slice of country contemplation.
“I wrote ‘The Astronaut’ with Alden Witt and John Caldwell. It was born out of exhaustion and feeling like we had nothing left to lose. We’d already given up on one song that night and ‘The Astronaut’ came pouring out,” Carpenter tells Sounds Like Nashville. “These are some of the questions that keep me up at night. I find peace in knowing I’ll never know the answers.”
Carpenter has made a fan of Americana star Carlile — who is also part of the acclaimed Highwomen country supergroup — and has an even bigger name in her corner as well. The rising singer-songwriter has the full support of country legend Dolly Parton, and even got to perform as part of Parton’s 50th Anniversary at the Grand Ole Opry over the weekend. She made her Opry debut earlier this summer, and is also a frequent performer on the Song Suffragettes all-female singer-songwriter showcase.