As one of the most notable vocalists in the era of the internet and experimental music, Alice Glass has long carried the weight of her rise in the spotlight to fuel her allegiance to art. Alice has been a star in the making for over a decade despite being just 29 years old. At the age of 15, Alice ran away from home to live in a community of squat punks and started an all-girl experimental punk band called Fetus Fatale. It was around this time she met her future collaborator Ethan Kath to eventually form Crystal Castles, the electronic music duo that took MySpace (and eventually the world) by storm. Crystal Castles came to be in 2006 and went on to release three albums together, touring all over the globe and creating a diehard cult following among their millions of fans.
In 2014, Alice announced her departure from Crystal Castles due to both personal and professional reasons as her bandmate continued the project with a new vocalist. Although Alice separated herself from the project she helped build, she continued to write music under her own alias this time around. Her debut single as a solo artist, titled “Stillbirth,” was self-released by Alice in 2015 and hit the airwaves with an accompanied statement on abuse.
“Years ago I began the process of trying to remove myself from an abusive relationship that started when I was a teenager,” she wrote. “Over the course of that relationship I was systematically cut off from anyone and everyone that I could truly be close to. I was talked down to, yelled at, locked into rooms and criticized daily about my abilities, my weight, my looks, my intelligence and almost every move I made. When I couldn’t take it anymore and I wanted to end the relationship I was threatened, then I was told I was loved, and the cycle would begin again.”
All proceeds from the song’s digital sales help survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and incest. It’s clear Alice began her solo project with a clear motive: shining a light where many are either uneducated, uncomfortable, or silenced. Her work has long possessed the quality of pure honesty and a clear sense of pain, but her work on “Stillbirth” is different; she’s more honest than ever before, and everything about this single captures her eventual ability to break free from the horrid life she sings of in this single.
Alice honed in on her solo project in the coming years, releasing her beloved track “Without Love,” the leading single from her self-titled debut EP released just a few weeks later. “Without Love” features the high-pitched, deeply genuine version of Alice’s voice that comes out when she’s feeling especially transparent. We’ve heard her shout and scream on her previous work with Crystal Castles, but she’s not screaming on this one. She’s here, in all her strong, sincere glory. She lets her anger out on songs like “Natural Selection” with lyrics clearly directed at someone who’s suffocating her, and she’s had enough.
In that same year, Alice came forward with a statement on her previous bandmate Ethan Kath, detailing the many years of physical, sexual, and mental abuse on his part. She posted the statement on her website, prefaced with a tweet saying “this is why I had to leave Crystal Castles” and including #metoo. Even after revealing the dark details of her past and sharing it with the world, she persevered. Alice showed immense strength through her commitment to create more art and show her support for other women who once stood (and still stand) in her shoes.
In February, Alice announced the ‘Snowblood’ tour with Zola Jesus as the co-headliner — just days after the tour announcement, Alice revealed on Twitter that the defamation suit filed by her abuser had been dismissed:
I won in court today!! the defamation lawsuit against me was dismissed !
thank you so much for the love and support throughout this ugly process
— ALICE GLASS (@ALICEGLASS) February 23, 2018
this is a victory for survivors of abuse and sexual misconduct in countries where abusers use the court system to further victimize and keep people silent. WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED
— ALICE GLASS (@ALICEGLASS) February 23, 2018
Alice is currently on tour with Zola Jesus through the end of this month. Following her debut EP, Alice recruited several producers including Mija, Ghostemane, and Zola Jesus to create a collection of remixes from the EP. We featured Mija’s remix for its underground drum and bass flair that complemented Alice’s hard-as-nails strength paired with her airy, delicate vocals.
The story of Alice Glass is still being written, but she’s chronicled a wildly successful career that she built all on her own despite the instances of hardship throughout the years. Alice Glass is a veteran of the MySpace music era, a survivor of growing up in the spotlight throughout a period of abuse, and has blossomed into an unforgettable and exceptional artist. Her music is a symbol of hope, a beacon of light, a lighthouse in the midst of a dark sea — it’s Alice Glass, and she’s here to create art in the face of adversity. The ability to turn one of your darkest memories into something beautiful and relatable to those who need it most is worth celebrating a million times over.