I couldn’t be happier to put this album into the world. It’s been quite the journey, and I’m both thrilled and a bit sad that it’s over. The blurb:
IX serves as a tall, intricately-carved shrine to Alison Wilder’s songwriting. It combines sparkling synths with menacing guitars, a Texas swagger with an East Coast snarl, earnest singing with robotic voices, and a pop sheen with a deep experimentalism.
The album sees Wilder coping with the difficulty and sublimity of relationships. From the earnest questions of “My Softest Side” (“If I can love you through the things I can’t abide and hold my tongue, should I?”) to the epic album closer inspired by Mike and Walter’s toxic relationship in Breaking Bad (“I made sure you had everything you needed, but I forgot to put aside some for a time when I would need it, so I’ve got none for this fight.”), IX covers a lot of territory. A wide-open, big sky country’s worth of territory.
But listening to IX isn’t a stroll through a grassy meadow. These songs expect you to pay attention, to climb over the barbed-wire fence and walk with the singer, and to enter a world full of stinging and prickly things that’s probably not quite like your own. And as the singer says, it’s a world that’s got less love than freedom in it.