Allie X: Paper Love

Allie X - "Paper Love" (Twin Music/Sony):  The dark pop muse of this Toronto singer/songwriter (aka Allie Hughes) first made a mark with her 2015 debut EP, COLLXTION I. The follow-up full-length album, COLLXTION II, was released last Friday, and this focus track is quickly grabbing attention.

It is easy to see why, as it is a dynamic track featuring the catchiest whistling hook since the Peter, Bjorn and John hit, "Young Folks."

The sound is sparse and pulsating, with Allie X's pure and clean vocals standing in contrast to the intensity of lyrics exploring a doomed love affair. Samples include "I know that boy's gonna rip me up" and "come on, watch my head turn to pulp, like paper love."

In a press release, the singer explains that “this album is about the loss and reclamation of one's identity… about taking back what you lost along the way." Juxtaposing serious themes to bright pop appears to be her signature, and it's an appealing one.

Hughes paid her dues on the Toronto scene before moving to LA in 2013 to concentrate on songwriting, after participating in the Canadian Film Centre Slaight Music Residency. The first single under the name Allie X, 2014's "Catch," was a moderate-sized hit and it made Katy Perry a fan.

She is also an accomplished actress, with credits including King and Being Erica. Hughes has co-written songs with Ron Sexsmith, Broken Social Scene co-founder Brendan Canning, and many others, and had songs placed in film and TV. She co-wrote a number of songs on Troye Sivan's debut album including the hit single “Youth.”

This is a talent to be watched closely.

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