Reliving feelings of isolation through music

Allie X’s new album depicts loneliness in adolescence

Andrew Stez, Features Editor

Photos courtesy of Allie X

Allie X remembers writing lyrics inspired by a dirty bathroom in Stockholm, Sweden, thinking of how the towels smelled of mildew. All she wished was to be back at her parent’s house where her mom washed the clothes, towels and sheets, which inspired the first track off her new album “Cape God” titled “Fresh Laundry.”  

“I found myself this time in my adult life ready to talk about some of the difficult things I have been through that I’ve never directly wrote about or sung about or spoken about,” she said. “And that was really the emphasis for this record and the result is a really honest and raw account of my experience, especially as a young person.” 

Reflecting on adolescence is a common thread in “Cape God.” Allie X further develops her style as an artist while also creating a world based off of East Coast towns like Cape Cod that provides a story of an outcast trying to fit into society.

The record shares a commonality with Allie X’s own career as, while she always wanted to be a singer, she felt out of place in worlds like theater.  However, by pursuing her own solo music career she has found a medium authentically her own. 

“I was always not fitting in perfectly, so me doing my own thing made a lot more sense,” she said. 

Allie X describes her music as indicating something is off and infusing drama with the reality of everyday experiences. 

“I like to think of my sound as … slightly off-kilter, slightly out of tune, like always a mixture of some sort of darkness with some sort of musical uplifting,” Allie X said. 

“I’m like a big fan of drama and soaring melodies. And musically, I’m not understated in my style and lyrically I’m always trying to express something darker emotionally that is inside of me.”

The album is also characterized by its overarching narrative that, as Allie X puts it, starts with a rebirth as the listener is transported to the town of “Cape God.” 

“There is a rebirth, a landing in ‘Cape God’ and then there is a lot of reflection and reliving being an outsider and seeing lots of walking through landscapes myself,” she said.

The listener is then transported throughout the town and Allie X’s own experiences as they listen to her struggle trying to be a part of the community that mirrors how she felt growing up in Toronto. 

This feeling of being out of place is prevalent in two other tracks on the record, “Super Duper Party People” and “Life of the Party,” which see her try to fit in by going to parties similar to those she went to in high school but feeling out of place and having to change herself in order to feel truly like one of the “party people.”

“‘Life of the Party’ is about wanting so badly to be seen and to be involved that you are willing to sacrifice yourself and throw yourself into the fire to be included,” she said.

Allie X also stressed how the album provided her a way to reflect on a childhood illness that made her already difficult adolescent years more challenging through songs like “Devil I Know.”

Photos courtesy of Allie X

“‘Devil I Know’ is pretty simple. It’s about battling your inner demons and how it is easier to stay in a pattern that is destructive — because that’s familiar — than trying to change,” Allie X said. 

How she relates with other people and with her own inner-self is a theme in her music, which often deals with feelings of isolation with others.

But this record is a departure from her other records, due to the overarching narrative that pushes for a deeper reflection on her youth and the feelings of isolation commonly experienced by youth. 

“With every album I’m trying to improve as a songwriter. I’m always trying to follow my gut and intuition and express the things I, as an artist, want to express at that time,” Allie X said.

“I do consider at that time what’s popular, what will make me money, what will the industry get behind — I do consider that as I have to as a pop artist. But ultimately I’m following my own intuition and feelings.”