I discovered Allie X around 2015, back when I was acting like a brokenhearted bitch over a boy who probably didn’t even know I existed. And I, as an overdramatic 16-year-old, decided to listen to a Spotify playlist named “Men Are Trash.” After sad-twerking to “Fools” by Troye Sivan, a song that goes “I’m screaming, begging for the one that won’t just shoot me up for fun” played after—and boy, was I shookt™ by how much it hit me in the feels.
Turns out it was “Catch” by Allie X, a Canadian singer-songwriter who once described her music as “soaring pop, borderline theatrical Disney” with dark lyrics. Her niche genre-bending style of pop combines atmospheric, emotional music and deep, abstract indie.
But if you were to ask me what I personally think of her songs, I’d say they’re like Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings—bold yet vulnerable, honest, and cathartic. Most of all, they make me feel seen and valid.
To prove my point, here are five Allie X masterpieces that felt like they were specifically written for me and those who are struggling with… life in general, I guess.
“Prime” from “CollXtion I”
“Prime” is about a young, self-destructive person with a “fuck it” attitude. It’s about being aware that what you’re doing is gonna kick you in the ass one day, but you keep doing it anyway. You believe that it won’t be too long until your time is over, and you’d rather spend it doing what you want instead of what your body needs to thrive.
So whenever you feel like making yourself feel better from all the fast food you’ve eaten throughout the week, remember that Allie X once said, “Healthy isn’t fun or amusing.” (I listen to it almost every day… that’s all you need to know.)
“Need You” from “CollXtion II”
According to Allie X, “Need You” was the emotional aftermath of a breakup. But I’d like to believe that it could also be about dealing with an irreparable rift between friends, if the “Hey, where’d you go? We used to be friends, we used to be close” line was anything to go by.
You say you’re not affected by the fact that they’re not in your life anymore, at least not in the way you want them to be. You constantly tell yourself that you don’t need them anymore, but whispering it like a mantra won’t make it any more true, will it? Because in reality, you miss them like hell. You miss the nirvana, the drama, and everything in between. All you can do now though is repeat “I don’t need you” over and over until it becomes true.
“Good” from “CollXtion I”
Ever distanced yourself from your family because you feel like a failure? Cut them off because you’re embarrassed about what you’ve become? Well, this song is for you.
“Good” is a piece that details a person’s fight against self-deprecating thoughts. It describes one’s desire to be someone their loved ones can be proud of: “With the sticks and stones I’m made of, I swear I tried the best I could / I still wanna be a winner, I want to be good.”
“Tumor” from “CollXtion I”
Have you been in a toxic relationship you seemingly couldn’t walk away from? “Tumor” is a metaphor for that toxicity. The song was inspired by film and TV characters who refuse to have their tumor removed despite the excruciating pain. Same goes with relationships.
Staying in a relationship despite the glaring warning signs is like letting a tumor grow, allowing it to consume your whole being—your life. So if you wanna be called out for not freeing yourself from an unhealthy relationship, listen to “Tumor” (and “Old Habits Die Hard”).
But bestie, I’m telling you. Walk away.
“Regulars” from “Cape God”
This song perfectly describes the struggles of fitting into society. After spending most of your life being an outcast, you now try so hard to be “normal” so you won’t be shunned by everyone anymore.
“Regulars” explores the urge to create a fake identity so you can blend into the crowd. You think losing your authentic self is a minor consequence you must pay to achieve a normal life.
The song’s beat has a strong ’80s vibe with a hint of ethereal synthesizers. It is a slow-build song with a dreamy hook that doesn’t become full until the chorus. You can listen to it whenever you wanna cuss out society for its cruel ways, or whenever you need a reminder that you’ll never be truly happy if you don’t embrace your true identity.
Allie X provides a world for people who feel like they don’t belong anywhere. Through music, she allows us to reflect on who we are and what we need. She breaks down social barriers, removes the stigma of being a “weirdo,” and gives us permission to be imperfect.
You can check out more of her stuff on Spotify and YouTube.
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Art by Yel Sayo
Allie X’s photos from her CollXtion I, CollXtion II, and Cape God (Deluxe) album covers