Lily Allen Stands Taller Than Ever With 'No Shame'

Lily Allen Stands Taller Than Ever With 'No Shame'

The bold Brit follows a tumultuous period with her most personal album yet.

The bold Brit follows a tumultuous period with her most personal album yet.

Photography: Justin Campbell

Styling: Yana Kamps

Text: Jake Viswanath

This interview appears in the pages of V114, The Fearless Gigi Issue, on newsstands now! Order your copy of the issue today at shop.vmagazine.com

British pop star Lily Allen has taken on everything from politics to fellow pop stars to gross men at the pub. While she has never been one to mince words in her music, on her fourth studio album No ShameAllen turns her trademark honesty toward a subject that, until now, has gone relatively unexplored: herself. Her rawest record to date, No Shame addresses the demise of her marriage, her relationship with her kids, and her struggles with alcoholism—all laced with the same blunt honesty and wit we love her for.

It’s no wonder that No Shame is Allen’s most personal work yet. Since 2014’s admittedly disconnected Sheezus (“I think you could definitely call bullshit on that last album,” the singer says), Allen has weathered back-to-back crises, from divorce to stalking. 

“When me and my husband broke up, some of our friends went with him rather than me,” she explains. “Then I had a stalker in the U.K. that broke into my house. In between that happening and the court case, it was really difficult to articulate to people what was going on, so I became very disconnected and isolated.”

But Allen spun her pain into creativity. “It became an introspective album because I wasn’t really experiencing any kind of social life. I was just kind of forced to confront my own demons,” she says. “I didn’t really leave the house; the only people I was talking to on a regular basis were my kids, my mum, and the people I was working with.”

The result is a return to form that reprises the wit and intelligence of early hits like “The Fear” and “Fuck You,” which, Allen asserts, hold up today. “Those songs have never really been more relevant than they are right now,” Allen says. “The opening line of ‘The Fear’ is ‘I want to be rich and I want lots of money, I don’t care about clever, I don’t care about funny.’ That’s literally Instagram in a sentence!” 

In sound and substance, No Shame is the antidote to any lingering baggage. From the attacking synths of “Come on Then” to the reassuring chants of “Cake,” Allen goes on a confessional journey of self-discovery—leaving shame at the door.

LILY WEARS HAT, JACKET, SHIRT SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, EARRINGS HER OWN

Credits: MAKEUP HOLLY SILIUS (LOWE & CO), HAIR TRACI BARRETT (ART DEPARTMENT), PHOTO ASSISTANT BENJAMIN ASKINAS, STYLIST ASSISTANT AMIRA AOUDJ, LOCATION DUST STUDIOS

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