Allie X & Mitski Make Water into Wine via Narrative Songwriting with “Susie Save Your Love”

Susie Save Your Love - Allie X, Mitski
Allie X has always been one of pop’s dark princesses, but with her duet “Susie Save Your Love” with Mitski, she takes inspiration from the unexpected and adds to her sparkling dossier of capabilities.
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Stream: “Susie Save Your Love” – Allie X & Mitski




There are as many love songs in the world as there are grains of sand. To say they’re a dime a dozen might even be understatement. Yet, with both those notions in tow, love songs occupy some of the biggest space in all of music. They permeate genres, transcend decades, and unify entire groups of people so vastly different you’ll want to buy a lottery ticket. Love songs are good praxis for music mongering because everyone loves love. Love comes in all shapes, sizes, and types as different as the audience it’s sung to. Birdy sang love for community in “People Help the People”, James Taylor sang about platonic love with “You’ve Got a Friend”, and on her new album Cape God, Allie X’s “Susie Save Your Love” is about perhaps the most devastating love of all – unrequited love.

Cape God - Allie X

Cape God – Allie X

Allie X released her newest album Cape God through Twin Music Inc on February 21, 2020. “Devil I Know”, a dark bop about staying with and moreover giving into someone you know is toxic, was the album’s lead single. The album also had two features, “Love Me Wrong” with renowned pop star Troye Sivan, and “Susie Save Your Love” with living legend Mitski. The two features, as a shock to no one, have become Cape God’s most listened to tracks on Spotify; of the two, the latter catches particular interest due to its complete representation of Allie X’s versatility.

Susie needs a ride
She’s way too drunk to drive
But oh, she’s such a sight to see
Marshall is the problem
She’s been trying to solve him
Someone needs to set her free
Oh no, she’s waiting for no one
Hold on, hold on
I’m a block away



Allie X’s discography, while eclectic, still finds a commonality and sound throughout. “Susie Save Your Love” is definitively an Allie X song, but its influences and production make it an anomaly.

While others would cite the artist’s music as being on the shoulders of Lana Del Rey, Bjork, and Lady Gaga, “Susie Save Your Love” takes a page from Jim Croce, Don McLean, and Lord Huron. While the track is far more “pop” influenced, and compositionally more synth-heavy than any of the previously mentioned artists’ works, all are avid examples of narrative songwriting; tracks like Croce’s “Bad Leeroy Brown” or Lord Huron’s “The World Ender” have a specificity in their lyricism.

In the first verse, Allie X sings, “Susie needs a ride,  She’s way too drunk to drive. But oh, she’s such a sight to see. Marshall is the problem, She’s been trying to solve him. Someone needs to set her free.” As the audience, we’re trying to figure out who the subject is, as it’s not Allie X herself. Listeners, in this type of narrative songwriting, only have a picture book of lyrics as their bible for the story that they’re slowly being spoon fed. The bridge then dictates, “Oh no, she’s waiting for no one. Hold on, hold on, I’m a block away.”

Aha! Allie X is this woman’s savior, so clearly they must be friends? Or is she her sister?

Susie Save Your Love

Susie Save Your Love



Susie Save Your Love - Allie X, Mitski

Susie Save Your Love – Allie X, Mitski

When Allie X hits the chorus, she intentionally makes everything clear and also introduces the reveal, “Save your love for someone like me. You don’t have to be a part-time Susie. Save your love, And take mine from me (Susie). You don’t have to be a part-time, Save your love.” The use of “part-time” is so clever, as it brilliantly illustrates the problem with Marshall and Susie’s relationship. In this type of narrative songwriting, the musician has to cover a lot of ground very quickly – there is no time to dilly-dally. “The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk…And I had a feeling that I belonged. I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.” All this Tracy Chapman needs to do is repeat that she finally felt like she could be someone, and the audience knows that unfortunately, she had never felt that way before in her life. The worst thing in the world is a narrative song that takes forever to make its point.

Save your love
For someone like me
You don’t have to be a part-time Susie
Save your love
And take mine from me (Susie)
You don’t have to be a part-time
Save your love
Susie, save your love

Yet that is not the end of this track’s expertise. When it comes to Mitski’s next verse, immaculate water turns into wine. “Susie’s riding shotgun. Saying that I’m no fun, Says she’s not ready to sleep. Marshall makes her angry, So she’s trying to make me, Drive her up and down his street.” Mitski is talking about the same Susie that Allie is, which raises the internal question, is Mitski also in love with this person? Are Allie X and Mitski supposed to be the same person? Or perhaps it’s that Mitski, in the microcosm of this song, has her own “Susie” who is dating a “Marshall” that doesn’t deserve her – furthermore implying that we all have a “Susie” that we’re not only in love with, but also go through herculean, emotionally compromising feats for.

Susie’s riding shotgun
Saying that I’m no fun
Says she’s not ready to sleep
Marshall makes her angry
So she’s trying to make me
Drive her up and down his street
Oh no, she’s waiting for no one
Hold on, hold on
We’re a block away

When the chorus hits again, “Save your love, For someone like me. You don’t have to be a part-time Susie. Save your love, And take mine from me (Susie). You don’t have to be a part-time, Save your love.” The idea dawns on the listener, and therefore forces them to reminisce about their own “Susie” and the love they had for them: A love so precious it needs to be savored and held out for someone who is actually deserving of it. Allie X and Mitski have taken the hyper-specific and made it general in the track itself. They have harped on a love that we all have faced with a simple, yet poignant, two verses about being in a car with the person you love, and the implications behind it.

Susie Save Your Love

Susie Save Your Love



At some point in any musician’s career, they are likely to write and sing about someone they love – whether or not that love is romantic is completely subjective, and no less relatable. What is more important is the plentiful artistry and creativity musicians will go through to write love songs – always finding ways to reinvent the wheel of human intimacy. With her song “Susie Save Your Love,” Allie X has touched upon a common love story, but with narrative songwriting and an ingenious minimalism, she has perpetuated it into the modern lexicon.

As fans, we can only hope for more love songs like “Susie Save Your Love.”

Save your love
For someone like me
You don’t have to be a part-time Susie
Save your love
And take mine from me (Susie)
You don’t have to be a part-time
Save your love

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:: stream/purchase “Susie Save Your Love” here ::
Stream: “Susie Save Your Love” – Allie X & Mitski





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Cape God - Allie X

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Jesse Herb

Jesse Herb is a 22 year old Chapman graduate, currently working at Dreamworks Animation in CA. In addition to Atwood, she also writes film reviews for Merry Go Round Magazine, her favorite color is green, and she’s allergic to pineapple. The Killers are her all time favorite band and nothing makes her swoon faster than a good ballad. Lastly she’d like to thank her mom, who used to be a DJ in the 70s, for encouraging her to listen to everything under the sun and never be scared of the unknown.