Stream Allie X’s synth-poptastic new album.

Stream Allie X’s synth-poptastic new album CollXtion II.

If you’re unfamiliar with Canadian-born, Los Angeles–based singer-songwriter Allie X, it’s high time you pay attention.

The indie dark-pop star unleashed a cohesive-sounding LP today that explores the mysterious, often times dark corners of her mind. It’s not so much of a followup to 2015’s first installment, CollXtion I EP, rather an extension of it.

Leading up to the album, Allie X made the experience of recording the album an inclusive experience for fans. As MuuMuse points out, she created a playlist on Spotify called COLLXTION II UNSOLVED, which included one-takes and demos, and encouraged fans to express their likes and dislikes. It’s an unprecedented means to connect ahead of an album rollout; the release feels like a celebration.

“I started writing this record pretty much immediately after I put CollXtion I out, and I must have written like 40 to 50 songs that I thought at one point might be on the record,” Allie X told “By the beginning of last summer, I found myself exhausted and wanted to take a minute to sort of get some perspective, so I went back to Canada. After spending a little time there, I looked at what I had and realized I had a record. But I didn’t really—I didn’t have the sonic cohesiveness I wanted and more than that, I looked at how I was writing.”

She added: “It’s a study of how much of me is actually me, and how much is informed by pain and trauma. Because throughout my life, I feel like I’ve lost and gained pieces of myself out of necessity to protect or defend myself. The album studies how much of who you are is pure—how much of it was there when you were born and how much is shaped by pain. Each song on the album can be thought of as a piece of me. Some songs are memories, some are dreams and some are my interpretation of reality.”

Sonically, Allie X is exploring minimalism. “I always love a lot of synthesizers and was trying to use different parts of my voice—not necessarily just belting out all the time. In the past I’ve produced by layering and layering until there can be no more layering, like if you listen to “Catch,” it’s like a river of sounds you could swim through. With this album, I was trying to do the opposite and get to only the most important sounds and eliminate everything else.”

Pause Witness for a while and soundtrack your weekend to CollXtion II:

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