cover photo by Carlos Rodriguez
Australia’s finest DJ/producer Alex Sholler, otherwise known as Alison Wonderland, finally released her highly anticipated second album Awake after her successful debut album Run. From DJing in strip clubs to appearing on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list (89th on the list) and making history alongside with Rezz for being the biggest female electronic artists ever booked at Coachella!
One thing I can always appreciate the most in music is a story that is being told through the lyrics. Alison Wonderland captured my attention after listening to one of her songs, U Don’t Know. Sholler stated during her set at Ultra in 2016 the meaning of the song: “This song is called U Don’t Know. I wrote it about depression. I’m writing that it’s not embarrassing to feel down EVER! And if you can’t tell your friends and you’re feeling like shit, then they’re not your fucking friends and that’s what this song is about!” If it is any artist that has made an impact on how to be comfortable with being yourself, it would be Alison Wonderland.
After reading her tweets about how Awake is a look into her personal life/diary and that she is sharing some of it with everyone, it got me thrilled to listen to the new album she has been working on for quite some time. The album contains 14 tracks with some features by Buddy, Trippie Redd, and Chief Keef. An explanation of each song on the album has been shared by Alison Wonderland via Twitter below!
1) Good Enough
My album comes out in 2 weeks. There r 14 tracks on Awake so I’m going to show you a track every day until it drops. #14tracksin14days
Good enough: pic.twitter.com/LQq8boEBiZ
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 24, 2018
This song features Alison Wonderland playing the cello creating a string quartet that she wanted to open with prior to playing at Red Rocks for the second time. The words “is it good enough?” is a phrase that came out on a whim for her. It is a climatic build to the drop and wants everyone to realize that this is an album.
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 24, 2018
No is a song that portrays a dark meaning, but actually explains a positive meaning. The background features kids laughing at a playground. No is about how there are people in the music industry that are enablers and how her observations of other people in the industry are of people always being pressured into saying yes to things that are normally not good for yourself. The truth hurts and the answer is not always yes; it is no. Alison Wonderland will always keep it real with you regardless of what the crowd is doing/saying.
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 25, 2018
Okay is a secret banger. It is about losing power; when you are so in love with someone that you will do anything for them. It shouldn’t feel like a power struggle to do anything for someone you love, even if it isn’t the right thing to do for yourself. She explains she wanted the verses to be beautiful and ethereal and the chorus to be in your face and ugly. Love is polar opposites and that is what love is like, extreme highs and lows. Oh, Lido is also playing keys at the end of the track!
This is perhaps, out of all the songs I’ve ever made, one of my favorites.
11 days until my album drops. I will be showing u a track a day. Here is track 4: 🖤Easy🖤https://t.co/J6dtljQL8I pic.twitter.com/k6QHyeEU8C
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 26, 2018
Easy is a song that was written with Joel Little, who has previously worked with Lorde and Khalid. It is one of the meaningful songs she made and was written about an incident that had happened to her. She explains that she woke up one morning extremely depressed/borderline suicidal and she went into her bathroom and sat on the floor and cried for an hour. In the chorus, she says that she walked into the bathroom to cry (and she knew why) and why someone can’t just find someone easier to deal with; “Baby why don’t you find someone easy”
5) High (feat. Trippie Redd)
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 27, 2018
High features Trippie Redd and this song was a risk for Alison Wonderland. She explains that she wants to cross pollinate genres and push the boundaries. She made this as a journey track; a track for people going on a journey. “Personally, being high is about anything in your life.” It can be music that makes you feel high. It was an absolute honor for Alison Wonderland to work with Trippie Redd!
6) Here 4 U
Ok I have been hiding this one from you guys…
9 days until Awake drops. Here is a track I made with @BLESSUSBLESSUS
U R NOT READY FOR THIS ONE… Track 6 “Here 4 U”https://t.co/M8MF003tTx pic.twitter.com/Sq4XaLP8Lq
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 29, 2018
Here 4 U is a collaboration with Blessus. She doesn’t really explain to us what the song is about or why she wrote it. Only information we know at the moment is that it’s a secret banger she has been hiding from us… HER LIPS ARE SEALED!
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 30, 2018
Church was the first song that Alison Wonderland started producing for the album and the last one she finished. She had gone through so many versions and took other peoples advice to the point where she didn’t even want to put it out. A voice in the back of her mind told her that she needed to put it out. She actually finished producing the track on Instagram live (if you saw that live stream, DM her!). The song is about realizing your self worth and how you should be treated. Make changes to better yourself in your life!
8) Cry (feat. Buddy)
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) March 31, 2018
Cry is a love song, the only pure love song Alison Wonderland has wrote. She doesn’t go to social media about her love life, but saves it for her song writing. The song is about falling for someone. The chorus is “I want to make a grown man cry” and explains that Alison Wonderland wants the person she is into to be more about her than she is about them; she wants to make him cry so that he feels so much that they won’t forget her. The song is a duet with Buddy vocally.
9) Happy Place
Sadly, there is no video on Alison Wonderland’s Twitter about Happy Place. This was the first single released off of Awake back in 2017. This track is about finding your happy place when things in life get tough and you need to find peace and serenity in your own happy place.
10) Good Girls Bad Boys
Well it’s 6 days until my album is out here is track 🔟:
Good Girls, Bad Boys 😏 pic.twitter.com/bwSHIJJCKl
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) April 1, 2018
Good Girls Bad Boys was originally supposed to be just an instrumental, but explained that she was feeling some type of way while making this track. It is like a spoken word that features her shouting at the end of the track that goes into a grimy beat. This song is a banger and she is excited to play it in her sets!
11) Dreamy Dragon (feat. Chief Keef)
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) April 2, 2018
Dreamy Dragon is one of the weirdest tracks that Alison Wonderland has created that features Chief Keef. The body of this track was created to see what other genres Alison Wonderland could create (it was a track originally created as a side project called Dreamy Dragon). She was listening to All Under One Roof Raving by Jamie XX and she was inspired to make a housey, break beat track. She went into the studio with Chief Keef and said he was really up in his feels during their session and wanted to do something different from his usual music. Much respect to Chief Keef!
12) Hope (Interlude)
My album drops in 3 days.. Track 12
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) April 4, 2018
Hope was originally made 5 years ago and was still relevant to Alison Wonderland. You can also hear Lido’s vocals and some of his playing at the end of the track. Whenever you have gone through a break up or lost a friend, there is always a glimmer of hope and that is what keeps you going. It is dangerous because it keeps you hanging on and attached to that thing. When you need to let go of something, it can be difficult and not necessarily a good thing every time. Everything will be alright soon!
13) Sometimes Love
— ALISON WONDERLAND (@awonderland) April 5, 2018
Sometimes Love features SLUMBERJACK, who was also featured on Naked off the album Run. The track was produced in a kitchen in Los Angeles. She debuted the track at EDC Las Vegas in 2016 and the crowd reacted so well to it that she decided to put it on the album.
Awake is the final song on the album. The song reflects on how Alison Wonderland is happy with where she is in her life regardless of what has happened in the past. No one is perfect.