Monday, October 29, 2018

Super Sunset | Allie X

When her fame began to bubble three years ago, Allie X was the most mysterious figure in pop music. A cryptic persona and an unfocused trajectory marked her as unlikely star material. As her career wore in, however, her smoke screen began to dissipate – less of the mystery behind X, and more emphasis on Allie. Bouncing the reflection of her new life as a pop artist in Los Angeles off a Hollywood glam funhouse mirror, Super Sunset is Allie X's first full-fledged attempt at being a bona fide, all-caps pop star in complete technicolor.

Super Sunset is, in part, the heat-warped synthwave record nobody knew that we needed – or that we could even receive – from Allie X. The starry synthesizers and warbling vocals on "Science" convey Allie X after hours, lit only by the street lamps as she cruises through the night with her car's well-worn stereo blaring. "Focus" operates on similar fundamentals, but tones them down to a mesmerizing mid-tempo love song; her vocal is backed by a digitized chorus of itself, gliding over a teardrop drumbeat. Vocoders also give a robotic underbelly to "Can't Stop Now," a slinky track that also grooves its way through the midnight cityscape.

Bolder pure pop moments take shape on "Not So Bad in LA" and "Little Things," both of which subdue the analog synths for ground-rattling bass and sleek melodies as she shares her adjustment to life and love in her new SoCal lifestyle. And "Girl of the Year" is of shouted mold we're used to hearing from Allie X. Though the three are closer relatives to her previous work than the other tracks on Super Sunset, even they cast away what Allie X once was. She is now a pop star without hesitation, with the high-gloss theatrics and the saccharin songwriting to prove herself worthy of competing with the megastars.

Super Sunset is available now under Twin Music.

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