Talk about a rebrand. Toronto’s Allie X, it turns out, is the stage name of one Alexandra Hughes, former musical theatre star and reality show contestant. A couple of bangers and a Katy Perry endorsement later and here we are, with CollXtion I and a veneer of impenetrable cool. You wouldn’t get that from Connie Fisher.
This not-quite-EP, not-quite-album is supposedly the first of five in what seems to be an art-pop project for Hughes. If that all sounds a bit Natalia Kills, fret not – Allie X takes more from classic pop and chart hits that wanting to be a sub-Gaga. Opener Hello feels like the perfect welcome, then, with its melange of bubblegum melody and one foot firmly in West End histrionics.
Hughes certainly knows her way round a pop chorus, that much is evident on the singles we’ve already heard. Catch, Prime, and Bitch all retain the spiky pop vigour that brought Allie X everyone’s attention, nicely balancing the turned-down power-balladry of Tumor (what a chorus though) and Good. All, of course, mounting evidence that a full-length would be a cakewalk for this newcomer.
Thematically we’re not looking at anything groundbreaking here, but the package is pretty knockout. Culminating in the rousing pulse of Sanctuary (next single, if anyone has a lick of sense), it’s hard not to get fully swept up in Allie X’s brand of cool and charm. These are ready-made pop songs that belong in the charts, and it’s only a matter of time before the world takes note.