It's a golden age for Toronto-based synth pop music. If you need convincing, Allie X's first full-length release, CollXtion II, solidifies the claim.
On CollXtion II, Allie X crafts a sort of dark pop sound that'll infatuate listeners of both DIY indie artists and the top 40 variety. Songs like "Paper Love" and "Need You" satisfy upon first listen, but also possess a creepiness lurking just underneath their crisp, melodic production that inspire multiple listens.
It's not all sombre, however. Elsewhere, Allie X goes for broke with glamorous '80s pop vibes, even going as far as to borrow the string line from Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" on "Vintage." It's a bold move, and one that could have easily been cringe-inducing, but Allie sticks the landing, making the recycled riff fit within the context of the song.
The production present on the record is spotless. Never does a part feel out of placed or underdeveloped, and the songs almost always build towards a huge final chorus. Closing track "True Love Is Violent" showcases the carefulness in these arrangements; it's one of the slowest, most stripped down songs on the record, yet still feels as big as any of the several bangers that precede it.
Allie X's body of work exists in a narrative universe Allie and her fans call the world of X. The quality tunes present on CollXtion II make it one absolutely worth stepping into. (Sony)