If you realize something in any respect about Alice Glass, former frontwoman of late 00s semi-creepy dream pop outfit Crystal Castles and present electro-goth queen, it may be shocking that her Prey//IV album, launched in February and for which she is about to embark on a prolonged US tour, is technically her debut solo LP. Along with her earlier physique of labor in Crystal Castles, a great deal of movies and singles because the duo’s disturbing break up and her close to fixed touring and video schedule, Glass (given title Margaret Osborn) lastly had time to place collectively this devastatingly wealthy exposé of a multi-track on her personal new imprint, Consuming Glass Information.
Regardless of this being her first solo album and all of the horrible sexual, emotional and monetary abuse she alleges occurred to her by the hands of bandmate Ethan Kath in Crystal Castles, Alice Glass is making no try and distance herself from her work throughout that point. The “IV” in Prey//IV is in actual fact a nod to the best way CC numbered their releases and an announcement that that is, in actual fact, her fourth full-length album. Whereas there have been squabbles between Glass and Kath (an understatement which will probably be elucidated upon shortly) about who wrote what on every of Crystal Castles’ albums, Glass maintains she wrote nearly all of the lyrics, vocals and melodies on CC’s first three albums. She elucidated on this in an interview with Bandcamp:
It’s my fourth LP. And I used to be serious about how even simply me saying that may enrage individuals I’ve by no means met, and the way ridiculous that’s. So yeah. It’s a bit cheeky. It’s additionally “pray for Alice Glass.” Pray for me. However having the Roman numerals in there and having “IV” in there’s form of a cheeky fuck-you. Who’s going to inform me what I can title my very own file? It’s going to be me. I’ve been within the sport for over 10 years, and I’m proud of the particular work that I did. It’s awkward to speak about, not to mention have a good time. However I’m happy with the work that I’ve finished.
So why would Alice Glass proudly owning her personal work and naming her album thus enrage so many individuals? Right here’s the bit the place we are saying it’s time – previous time – to speak about Alice Glass.
As lately as final month, Alice Glass needed to as soon as once more take publicly to Instagram to repair moscinceptions about her and her time with Crystal Castles. This time it was a mislabeled photograph in am urelated Vice article. Glass posted a narrative with the photograph, saying “I used to be being groomed on the time.” Vice instantly took it down, however the issue stays the identical. The confusion, side-taking and downright abuse from followers, former managers and even Kath himself Glass has suffered since leaving CC practically eight years in the past has been relentless. Glass has been simply as relentless in defending herself, nevertheless, and unflinchingly proactive. Slowly, very slowly, individuals have discovered the reality.
All of it kicked off nearly three years after Glass formally left Crystal Castles. Previous to 2017, for those who have been a fan of Crystal Castles on the time of the break up, the controversy was exhausting to disregard. After 2017, for those who had any form of morality in anyway, it might have been exhausting to facet with Kath, although some followers did. Glass produced emails, textual content information, et al. publicly on social media (and later as proof within the defamation swimsuit Kath filed towards her) after she made the allegations in a prolonged assertion on her weblog. She additionally gave quite a few interviews and finally received a few of her managers and PR individuals on the time to again up her claims. They have been listed within the texts and emails, in spite of everything. Probably the most damning proof, nevertheless, got here from Kath himself in his habits after Glass left.
2017, tickeholders for the Crystal Castles present on October 25 on the North Park Observatory in San Diego and that includes Kath’s hastily-hired and eerily similar-looking alternative Edith Frances have been knowledgeable that the present was canceled. Little or no rationalization was given by the venue however it was largely understood that it was as a result of ongoing harassment of Glass by Kath. A full three years after Alice Glass had left Crystal Castles, Kath was nonetheless having his administration ebook exhibits that have been on or close to the dates of Glass’s personal tour supporting her self-titled album, typically on the identical venues. Crystal Castles adopted Alice round a full 9 tour dates, in actual fact, till The Observatory put an finish to it.
Alice Glass’s present om the twenty fourth was allowed to go on as scheduled. She got here out fairly late and the set was quick, main some followers to imagine she was at present being harassed by Kath or it had simply all received an excessive amount of for her. She nonetheless carried out 4 Crystal Castles songs, which was fairly courageous on condition that Kath was claiming Glass didn’t have rights to any CC work as a result of she didn’t write any of the songs. It was one other tactic Kath used to attempt to counter the allegations and tear Alice down. By this time in 2017 she’d already managed to show she wrote lyrics and vocal melodies for various the songs so she belted these tracks with gusto and nonetheless performs them in her units.
Glass managed to get the defamation lawsuit Kath (given title Claudio Palmieri) filed towards her thrown out in early 2018. In the meantime, Toronto police opened an investigation towards Kath for intercourse crimes which included allegations from a number of different girls claiming grooming them whereas they have been underaged. The remainder of the Crystal Castles tour was halted in earnest and Kath’s profession successfully ended. Little or no survives now when it comes to information about Kath, together with the outcomes of the Toronto investigation or if he has been attempting to make a comeback.
A Tumblr web page referred to as Exposing Ethan Kath (not a reputable supply) which alleged in 2020 that Kath married an Alice Glass cosplayer named Au Vyst (Autumn). A tweet from Glass’s Twitter account which responds to a different tweet from Autumn the place she alleges comparable issues occurred to her as to Glass exhibits up in December of that 12 months, saying, “Autumn, I don’t know easy methods to attain you however I’m so sorry you went by this.” That’s the final anybody’s heard about Kath since 2017, excepting when Glass has spoken about him and her expertise, most lately when she opened as much as NME in an interview about Prey//IV.
Glass’s solo work has been decidedly extra punk rock (we’ll name it cyberpunk with an enormous serving to of horror) than something she did with Crystal Castles, save, maybe, “Alice Observe.” That is each in model and substance, as her troubles didn’t simply begin and finish with Kath. Within the NME article, Glass says Crystal Castles shied away from sturdy private or political messages of their lyrics, because it was extra concerning the synth pop aesthetic. Beginning together with her first solo single “Stillbirth,” nevertheless, Glass now needed to place her fact on the market.
If I may take a tablet and erase all my recollections, I’d. I didn’t suppose I’d be right here – I believed I’d be lifeless for positive. I used to be very suicidal as an adolescent and younger individual… There’s a lot struggling on this planet, and I deliver [up my difficult experiences] now as a result of, in a bizarre manner, each time I open up about this, someone writes me or sends a very nice message the place they’ll relate to what I’m saying.
There was extra to come back, as Glass proved she launched her single and video for “With out Love,” the pre-Alice Glass EP teaser in 2017, simply after she launched her assertion about Kath. It was her first observe immediately about her expertise with Kath and his stalking and slander. The lyrics aren’t refined: “can I undergo? I gained’t make a sound; how are you gonng lie about me now?; I see you watching me from underground…” et cetera. The observe greater than made her level, and the video was a surprising image of hope and the ache of therapeutic. Anybody who had doubts about Glass’s musical prowess and skill to conjure her personal highly effective aesthetic would have simply been silenced with this piece.
From Alice Glass, a remix album that includes such outstanding artists as Ghostemane, Zola Jesus, Chelsea Wolfe and Dreamcrusher and together with “Stillbirth” was launched in 2018 in addition to a rash of movies. The movies for EP singles “Forgiveness” and “Mine” present a rigorously curated and fantastically executed goth aesthetic whereas the signular single “Stop and Desist” is tour footage and static whereas the music’s lyrics loudly declare Glass’s newfound energy and willpower to battle and beat Kath and his ill-conceived defamation case, a technique or one other.
Glass additionally appeared on various movie collab tasks post-Alice Glass, together with being a visitor vocalist on Dreamcrusher’s 2020 Grudge 2 EP and writing a music referred to as “I Trusted You” for the Adult Swim x Fever Desires compilation album with producer of Cyberpunk 2077, Rockstar Video games and noise band Well being fame Jupiter Keyes in 2018. Then got here the drag movies.
Sure, you learn that proper: Alice Glass’s iconic capability to serve such flawless face and develop such stark aesthetics is available in a big half from her involvement within the drag scenes in each LA and Toronto. These aren’t, nevertheless, your typical drag performers you’ll catch at a drag brunch and even on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not so incedentally, nevertheless, the video for “Mine” options Drag Race seaon seven winner Violet Chachki because the antagonist who poisons Glass on this blackened Victorian movie confection. The drag movies to which we’re referring have been a collection of eight efficiency movies from some excessive drag artists, masking a broad spectrum of Glass’s discography on the time. The most well-liked was a dwell membership efficiency video by one other Drag Race alum, Abhora, to the drum & bass Ghostemane remix of “Pure Choice,” however all of them are innovative, stark and push the boundaries of what most individuals consider drag.
Each observe Glass recorded from 2018 to now seems on Prey//IV, so there have been a great deal of teasers. Glass truly was one of many first to do that format, the place singles are launched from an album as they and their movies are accomplished relatively than ready for the entire album to drop. It’s a format very conducive to artists who’ve a robust aetshetic like Glass, to not point out nice for YouTube. The movies for “I Trusted You,” “Sleep It Off,” “Nightmares,” “Endure and Swallow,” “Child Tooth,” “Honest Recreation” and “Love Is Violence” have been all launched in succession earlier than the album got here out in February of this 12 months. The final video for “Everyone Else” debuted concurrently the album. That’s a full eight movies from a 13-track LP. Aesthetic is clearly nonetheless essential to Glass, and we’re all higher individuals for it.
One more reason Prey//IV launched to this point after its first movies/singles was seemingly her authorized battle with Loma Vista Recordings, who regardless of displaying little curiosity within the album, didn’t need to launch her. This battle was in fact tied up within the points with Kath, however as soon as the smoke cleared, Glass was capable of self-fund Prey//IV and began up her personal imprint, Consuming Glass Information, within the meantime. Two birds, proper? Both manner, technique or no, the album is an unqualified success, hitting big numbers on each Spotify and YouTube, although its Bandcamp web page it nonetheless a bit chaotic. What else would you count on from Alice Glass?
Musical style-wise, Prey//IV can be chaotic, however in the very best manner. “I Trusted You” producer Jupiter Keys led manufacturing on various tracks, which vary from the gorgeous but eerie extremely pop to the heavy industrial of the title observe. A great deal of experimental stuff is wedged in simply in case it wasn’t stark sufficient with observe titles just like the glitchy, trappy creepfest that’s “Pinned Beneath Limbs” or the emotive future bass/drum & bass mashup of “Endure and Swallow.” Glass’s angelic but versatile vocals go together with nearly any music model, so it’s no shock that there are such a lot of. The a number of moods additionally add to the journey Glass herself went on, each in creating the album and in dwelling the ten-odd years of abuse that impressed it.
Prey//IV is a wonderful pay attention whetheror not you realize the entire story with Glass and Kath. It’s universally relatable, whether or not you’ve gone by one thing comparable or simply know the emotions she’s speaking about. It’s additionally danceable and enjoyable, and the movies for the singles to this point deliver every observe to life differently. Nonetheless her viewers chooses to benefit from the album, Alice Glass has greater than proved with Prey//IV that she’s each bit the artist Kath tried to say she wasn’t.
There was a video clip produced in 2008 for the Crystal Castles music “Magic Spells” the place there’s an individual sleeping outside by a wall after which one other individual comes into body and drops a cinderblock on their head. There’s rather a lot left to the creativeness and lots of methods it’s been interpreted however now, 14 years later, it’s a stark reflection of what might have actually been happening behind the scenes within the band, each actually and figuratively. The story ends fairly in a different way than the video, nevertheless, in that after quite a few heavy objects being dropped on her or in her path, in the future Glass not merely went again to sleep. She spit out the blood, stood up and fought for herself and her artwork. Prey//IV is that purged poisonous blood, and now together with her Trauma Bond Tour beginning this week, she’s turn out to be the hunter.