Allie X is still trying to figure out how to describe her upcoming album, Girl With No Face.
With past records like Cape God and Sunset Season, she always “tried to tie a bow around” her music with a clear concept and message. For this new one, which she’s announcing via Rolling Stone, nothing quite fits: “It’s a little more mysterious,” she says.
Out on Feb. 23, 2024, Girl With No Face is the Canadian avant-pop singer’s first album in more than four years. She describes it as “aggressive, indulgent and bold.” She made nearly every song — from the lyrics to the production — all by herself.
“It almost made me dizzy because I went so deep into it,” she says. “I said, ‘I’m not going to be trying to please anyone else, because there’s literally no one else in this room.’ I may have created something that’s completely off-trend here, but it’s definitely something that I enjoy.”
The LP captures the singer “coming to grips with reality” and her “present chaos” as she works her way through it. “It’s a real struggle for power and control, because I felt like my life was lacking it,” she says. The lyrics capture some of that anger with sarcasm and dry humor in the lyrics. “I don’t sing for straight men ’cause they just ruin the world,” she sings on one track. On another, she reminds you: Don’t sleep on her.
Musically, Allie transported back to the early Eighties and late Seventies. There are touches of Joy Division, Cocteau Twins, Blondie, and Vince Clarke across the LP, and lots of LinnDrum beats. One song, she says, “has an early Madonna thing and then a bit of Kate Bush as well.”
The album’s title track, out Thursday night, was the last song she completed for the record, and on it, she sings from the perspective of “a savvy, sexy ghost.” “I was actually thinking about the music industry and the amount of artists that get screwed over and killed, basically, by the way things are,” she says. “I was the ghost of the graveyard of these dead artists and I was going to avenge them or something.”
Visually, Allie tapped into themes of identity (or lack thereof) in both the video for “Black Eye” and in the stunning album artwork for Girl With No Face. The visual sees the singer in all-black removing an expressionless, papier-mâché mask of herself.
“I feel like there was a sort of death that happened, like an erasure of maybe previous identities, and rather than emerging with a fully-formed new identity, I feel like I’m still in progress,” she says. “I’m figuring it out. I like the idea that masks are flexible in that way. They’re a protection.”
“I’m starting to think that maybe that’s the way that I want to go through life,” she adds.