Vermilion Sands

posted: 2024-03-30 Girl With No Face Allie X

released: 2024-02-23
on label: Twin
artist: Allie X
genre: Synthpop
with some: Dance-PopColdwaveItalo-DiscoHi-NRGNew Wave
listen at: Apple Bandcamp Sound Cloud Spotify
more reviews: Exclaim! Paste Slant

Building upon the level-up of 2021’s Cape God, avant pop singer/songwriter Allie X took another evolutionary leap on 2024’s Girl with No Face, a synth-washed stunner for pop-loving misfits that sounds like the album she’s been working towards since her debut. Immensely pleasurable, this weird ride pulls from multiple genres – post-punk, glam, synth pop – that beg for a dance party in the neon-kissed corners of the gothiest parts of your soul. She seamlessly blends the early sounds of Joy Division, New Order, and Depeche Mode with the alterna-pop magic that spans a lineage rooted in Kate Bush and Eurythmics. The tongue-in-cheek “Off With Her Tits” sounds like La Roux meets Bat for Lashes, with the robotic repetition of the title commanding attention atop the throbbing production.

Robotic beats and grooves pulse and snap through the Austra-esque “John and Jonathan,” as icy synths freeze “Weird World,” and a meaty bassline, haunted howls, and mischievous sleaze lurk in the shadows of “Girl with No Face.” Additional highlights on this no-skips set include the glittering synth pop standout “Galina,” the frantic Michael Sembello-meets-Marina anthem “You Slept on Me,” and “Truly Dreams,” an elevated dose of ethereal pop that aptly joins YKTR-era Tori Amos and her early muse Kate Bush. Heavy on the ’80s influence, it’s both nostalgic and futuristic, placing Allie X into the sonic tradition that she used for inspiration. A revelatory experience that’s somehow been hidden within her all these years, Girl with No Face is a bold reclamation of artistic self from a thrilling pop auteur.