It’s been a strong build to Alison Wonderland‘s sophomore album.
Anyone who’s a fan has by now heard the story of its inception: A dark depression led the Australian producer, singer and songwriter to dig deep into her demons for inspiration. The set’s singles have shown a lyrical depth and mostly energetic hooks, but taken now in full, Awake displays an exciting new level of experimentation for Wonderland. She plays with sound, composition, mood and texture to show in a way that translates her emotional growth into advanced artistry.
The songs we know are there, but it’s in the moments we haven’t yet explored that Awake really shines. Opener “Good Enough” and “Okay” are wild explorations of punctuated noise. “Easy” is an exasperated fear of being unlovable set to an instantly lovable hook. “Here for You” is a factory of trap noises clinging and clanging toward cohesion. The whole thing plays like a true moment of self discovery, and that’s simply because it is.
“The album was a very honest wake up call for me,” Wonderland says in an emailed statement. “Whilst writing it, I made actual changes in my life, because I was realizing so much through the songs. I really pushed myself for this album lyrically and sonically, and I feel totally cleansed coming out of it. I can’t tell you too much about the tour in August, because then I would be giving away some secrets for the Coachella show.”
Awake is vulnerable and strong, twisted and triumphant. It’s 14 tracks of honest feelings and shining integrity, and it’s something that begs to be listened to again, the kind of album you can re-explore and keep discovering with each go ’round.
Get started by listening to Awake below, out now on Universal Music.