I went down to old MTL to talk with Allie X about her new album ColliXion. She’s doing a residency at the Phi Centre, recording some new tracks and fleshing out concepts. While listening to her EP I picked up on a lot of tongue and cheek references to addiction and sedation. These conceptual themes that thread through X’s music add texture and depth to songs which flash catchy hooks and are all over the radio.
J: Tell me about allusion in your song lyrics…
X: There are links drawn between love and sedation. The relationship you have with your doctor versus a lover. And I’m not necessarily expressing a sound point of view— only raising a lot of questions and making a lot of references.
J: How do you feel approaching the pop idiom as an artist who actually wants to say something of substance?
X: The whole point is to raise questions rather than give answers. When I’m writing lyrics I’m really just grabbing at ideas that are circling in my head, and out of those ideas themes arise. That is the substance you’re picking up on: addiction, psychological and medical themes. As much as critics analyze it, I’m analyzing it my self and learning, ultimately, how to become a better person.
J: Unfold the triptych of your past, present and future—
X: Becoming X has become about wiping the slate clean and not focussing on the past. So I do really speak about it. The present is something I’m always a) trying learn to a stay in, and b) enjoy… and I wanted to answer that in three parts…
(cackling here). The future is when my dreams will come true and I’ll be a greater version of myself.
J: Oh, what’s X?
The unknown. In algebra X is the unknown quantity. It is the identity I take on while just a fragment of my potential full self. Once I’ve attained that, X will no longer be part of my name. I would of solved X.
Also, peep this shower stall acoustic live version of catch. One.