Allie X (Interview)

IMG_4501Allie X recently performed her US live debut at the Bootleg Theater.

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And photographer Matt Benton met up with the pop artist to shoot some pics before the show as FBV asked some questions.

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Your last name is “X.” You call your fans “X’s.” And you use the letter in various thematic hashtags such as #feelingX and #Xmeanything. When exactly did you become infatuated with the letter “X”?

“When I became X, I did so because of the freedom it gave me to Xplore the unknown and the anonymity it granted me to wipe my past away.”

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Since you’re a classically trained pianist, do you start writing all of your songs on the piano?

“I used to. Now it’s a combination of writing at a piano or a computer. It’s useful to write in all sorts of different environments and confuse yourself into getting a sound you haven’t before.”

Judging by your debut EP’s title, CollXtion I, we assume there will be more EPs of the same name or do you plan to release an LP?

“It is the beginning of a series of CollXtions which is neither an LP or an EP.”

How did you come up with the idea for your famous spinning GIFs?

“I was inspired by the memory of spinning as a child until I became dizzy and would purposely fall to the floor and close my eyes. The feeling of being suspended as the world turned around me was what I began to think of as #feelingX. The GIFs were a way to represent that visually.”

What can you tell us about your next music video?

“Top secret!”

You also released an autobiographical comic book called The Story of X. Will it have a sequel?

“Yes. Each CollXtion will feature another chapter in The Story of X. It is a comic book, but to a real comic book fan it probably comes across as more of a children’s book. I chose the comic as the medium for my story because that is how I see it when I think back now. Renata Morales did the illustrations and I’d be honored to work with her again –though that isn’t confirmed.”

You’ve recently been collaborating with Troye Sivan and LELAND. How did you come to work with these artists?

LELAND and I got set up by our publishers in a session and we hit it off and became writing partners. Troye tweeted about me and then we DM-ed and found out we were mutual friends with LELAND. We have written a bunch of songs for Troye. One is on his EP, WILD, which is released worldwide this Friday. And we have written songs for me as well.”

You’re rarely seen without sunglasses, do you have a large collection or do you stick to a few favorites?

“I have a moderate collXtion. I tend to stick to the same ones for a few months and then switch. My favorite pair right now are by Colab –an Australian brand.”

We know Katy Perry is a big fan of yours and has promoted you via Twitter. Have you had the chance to thank her in person?

“Yes. We met shortly after ‘the tweet’ at a party she threw.”

Matt Benton: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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“Tangled Memories” by GEMS

GEMS by Kristen Wrzesniewski 2GEMS is the collaborative project of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher who blend trip-pop beats, synth wave blasts, delayed guitar lines, and a very lush vox for a sound they call “evocative shadow pop.” Their debut album, Kill the One You Love (a reference to the novel Fight Club), drops October 30th via Carpark Records and includes the dreamy, emotive “Tangled Memories.”

“You’re pulling me under and I can’t keep my head afloat.”

GEMS will soon be on tour.

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GEMS: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud

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“In My Labyrinth Mind” by Inspired and the Sleep

014_zpshae8urhdInspired and the Sleep returns by leaking another single, “In My Labyrinth Mind,” off their forthcoming sophomore EP Eyelid Kid. The track delivers a post-punk/indie rock vibe but often experiments via a falsetto chorus, a subtle saxophone, and 8-bit blips from a retro Juno 60 keyboard which was found abandoned in a field.

“Stick to the script and say your lines.”

Inspired and the Sleep will perform on September 11th at the Belly-Up Tavern.

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Inspired & the Sleep: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

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“Surfer Girl” Music Video by Henry Wolfe (Premiere)

HenryWolfeFBVHenry Wolfe (no relation to Chelsea Wolfe) is a troubadour based in Eagle Rock with strong ties to the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros collective. His recently released sophomore album, Asilomar (Spanish for “asylum by the sea”), was produced by Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Devendra Banhart) and named after a surf break on the central coast. Wolfe claims its lyrics address “the meaning of romance, the nature of loss, and the fear and thrill of the unknown” and its sonic ambience reflects this well with a solemn blend of gentle guitar strums, soft piano parts, and a reliably soothing voice such as on “Surfer Girl”:

“I want a summer that will never end.”

And here’s the song’s collage-fused music video edited by Caitlin Gutenburger (of Two Sheds).

Henry Wolfe‘s record release show is tomorrow (September 3rd) at Ruby Street Church. RSVP required.

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Henry Wolfe: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

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“Daydreaming” by RKCB

RKCB PRess 2RKCB is the collaborative project of Riley Knapp and Casey Barth who –after being a stealthy staple to DTLA‘s neo-R&B pop scene (AMAN, TRAP NOiR, Beyond Rare)– have finally begun to properly reveal themselves by leaking tracks off their forthcoming debut EP Short Films. Their latest single, “Daydreaming,” continues the producer/songwriter/singer duo’s signature shimmery soundscape with driving digi-beats, subtle synths, and very self-aware sexy falsettos.

“Never have to wake from you cause I’m just daydreaming.”

RKCB: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud

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“Salt” by B. Miles

IMG_4771(1)Modern chanteuse B. Miles returns by leaking another Noise Club-produced single, “Salt,” off her forthcoming debut EP Twenty Fifteen. Co-written with Eric Nizgretsky (of Loose Buttons), the song is an evocative ode to melodic melancholy driven by percussive clicks, echoing riffs, and her signature sultry vox.

“Sundress wrinkled on the floor…”

B. Miles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud

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“Vanish” by Western Lows (Premiere)

WLpressJJWestern Lows is back by leaking the first single, “Vanish,” off their forthcoming sophomore album. The band returned to Chase Park Transduction in Athens, GA to record with producer Andy LeMaster (formerly of Now It’s Overhead) and the result is a signature blast of riveting shoegaze until it pivots mid-track into a gliding pace of indie rock serenity.

“I get separated from my shadow every night.”

Western Lows performs tonight (August 31st) at The Echo.

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Western Lows: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bandcamp, Soundcloud

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