Four years after releasing her second studio album, "Awake," Alison Wonderland has returned with her latest project—"Loner." The album is comprised of twelve songs, each revealing a new side of Wonderland not yet revealed to the public. We sat down with the multi-talented musician to uncover her process for writing the album, the major themes of the project and how it compares to her earlier works.
What was your process making your third studio album "Loner?"
I was writing this album and, at the very start, I listened to my last couple of albums and I’d never done that before. I was like, "Why are you always the victim? Why does this always happen to you?" Then I realized the common denominator was me, how I was reacting to situations and how I felt about myself. I had to take a long, hard look in the mirror—which was embarrassing and difficult. I made a lot of changes to myself, rather than trying to change everything around me.
What are some of the themes on this album?
I loved playing with ideas of polarity throughout this album. Extreme light is the same as extreme dark and extreme heat is the same as extreme cold. I really feel being at your extreme rock bottom allows you to bring out your best self, and that’s what I wrote about. I wrote about knowing I’ll get through this and I’m going to come out winning. Because if I kept going the way I was, I wouldn’t be able to get to where I wanted to be in life.
How does this album compare to your earlier work?
In my single "Church," I talk about how I should be treated, but I don’t think I’d done the full mental work to really evolve. There was still a bit of aftershock from the trauma I’d been through earlier, which I started actually dealing with before I started writing "Loner." Now I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from me and the next time something happens, at least I’ll be a little more equipped.
Does this album tell a story?
When I listen to each of my albums, I can tell you exactly what I was going through, who I was around, what food I was eating, what the weather was like—I could tell you everything. The bulk of the album, bar maybe two songs I wrote earlier, were songs I wrote in a short period of time, one right after another. I’m always telling a story with my albums and part of the reason I do albums is for me. Putting together random songs that don’t capture the essence of a moment feels like a Spotify playlist. And when I DJ, I also try to tell a story in my set with the mood and the energy.
What's the story behind the title track?
That song is an open letter to my rock bottom. I still actually have a very difficult time talking about that specific song and I can’t listen to it. It started off as a poem and I’d read it to a couple of friends who weren’t emotional types—but even they shed a tear. I knew the words and the spirit behind them were very powerful. I wanted to tell myself that it was OK to be vulnerable and it was OK to cry about this, even when you’re trying to be so strong.