.AllieX talks new album CapeGod
Allie X has found a new sanctuary to be herself in the idyllic setting of Cape God, the alluring yet deceptive paradise and namesake for her second studio album, released today (Feb. 21) via Twin Music.was me too -- but there were glasses on, there was a shield out.” If every previous release was spun to weave a type of esoteric fairytale, Cape God is Allie X as an open book. With a notably spare production pallette, the characteristically maximalist songwriter removes the veil to reveal the voice behind it all on her most straightforward and introspective record yet. “With this one, I'd say there's a thin layer of ice but that's it,” she tells Billboard . “It's a pretty personal, pretty intimate body of work.” The initial thaw for X began several years ago before Sunset had even seen the light of day, when she viewed the impactful 2015 documentary Heroin: Cape Cod, USA about the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts. “I've never used that kind of a drug and I've never been like a real addict with any sort of substance abuse, but something about it really struck me and I was thinking about it the next day and the day after,” she admits. “I grew up in the suburbs in a privileged kind of position; upper-middle class, never struggled for anything. Obviously, I'm white. I'm not queer. So in some ways, I felt like I could relate. I related to the fact that the kids in this documentary were the same.” As an experiment, Allie wrote a lyric in her iPhone notes from the perspective of one of the subjects that became the opening line for Cape God ’s debut single and album opener “Fresh Laundry,” where she laments the absence of ordinary pleasures like clean white sheets or the satisfaction in being able to take care of oneself. It was a major turning point that stuck with her when she met with producer Oscar Görres and fellow songwriter James Alan Ghaleb for a session in Stockholm later that month. “As we were writing the lyrics, without telling either of my collaborators in the room, I did the same thing and...put myself in that girl's shoes again and wrote from her perspective,” she recalls. “But because that lyric was from my perspective, this sort of meld happened where I was imagining my own experiences.” It was a watershed moment that tied together the core of Allie X’s artistry. Where the personality and details in her songwriting would normally originate from the personas and situations she crafted, these were words born from her own unfiltered thoughts and feelings. “I really started to delve into experiences that I had in high school and how isolated I felt and how dissociative I was with my emotions and how detached I was from my family and how shameful I was,” she admits. Having discovered a new path to her next record, it was time for Allie X to do some world-building. She found inspiration in the everyday people featured in Heroin , who suffered in a hopeless struggle behind the backdrop of one of the most lavish American locales, as well as in the photography of Gregory Crewdson, who took idealized photos of American cities that could appear to Allie as “drab, but cinematic and sometimes very depressing.” It’s that dichotomy that made a fictionalized Cape Cod such a compelling microcosm of the outsiders’ perspective that much of her art centers on, only now the difference between the have and have-nots could mean life or death, extreme happiness or severe pain. For Allie, it was the temporary safe haven to reflect and confront her past. “I started to write from my own personal experiences as a young adult whilst also creating this sort of Cape Cod style thing in my head and thinking about outsiders in general,” she says. “It's about an East Coast town that doesn't really exist, but I'm going there and I'm living through all these things I went through to process them properly because I wasn’t writing songs at the time that I was going through that stuff.” The transformative experience has opened Allie up to a fresh songwriting process that feels “seamless, therapeutic, and very enjoyable,” but she credits Görres with unlocking the sonic equivalent of her reinvigorated songwriting style through his production, saying, “Oscar was doing stuff that was musically lended to the words....the music really allowed for the layered kind of complex lyrics that came out because they just sounded like he was doing things that were harmonically so interesting and emotional to me.” Allie also called on the help of collaborators old and new including frequent songwriting partner Read more: billboard
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Partying With Allie X, from Hell's Kitchen to Bushwick“This new music is a lot about feelings that I had as a teenager—stuff that I’ve felt for a long time but probably never found the right words to say.”
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