She may be making some headlines within the United States due to the amazing crew of young artists she’s been hanging out with recently – Sky Ferreira and Azealia Banks are always good company – but the UK-based 20-year-old is making even bigger strides in pop with the release of her single “You’re The One”, already out in the US and out September 16th in the UK.
What makes Charli XCX extremely likeable is the arguable way she sticks out from her contemporaries. If Ferreira and Banks are the grunge girl and ‘hip-hop meets house’ girl of the recent bunch of new artists, XCX is like if you dipped Britney Spears’ pop in an edgy hipster aesthetic, but completely more authentic that the average hipster would be.
01. The ‘Late-90’s-Angsty” aesthetic is brilliant
Her appreciation for all things 90s, like that of the Tumblr crowd, consisting of many young twenty-somethings, only further makes Charli XCX seem like “the people’s popstar”, but the people are artsy kids editing music videos on their iMacs and posting their favorite new bands on their tumblr. She’s the face of children born in the early 1990s. Just looking through her recent twitpics shows a series of outfits, usually all black if not some kind of tie-dye, complimented with chokers or cross necklaces and a signature pair of psychedelic glasses featuring skulls on the lenses. Gnarly like a Gregg Araki film.
02. Her single “You’re The One” is amazing.
The video is quite good, as well, and compliments the way the song goes from R&B-heavy pop chants to an exploding chorus crafted to be cheered along to. The video for the remix done by Odd Future’s The Internet and Mike G is almost just as fun too. The semi-rapped middle-eight featuring lyrical gems like “Yeah, I’m dancing in the darkness / Three years ago, I was feeling so heartless / But your bright shined through / Now I’m drinking love potion when I lay next to you” is a fine pop moment.
03. She’s been doing this for years.
According to several interviews, she’s been doing ‘music’ since she was a child and even a young teen – making the step to a legit performer when she was 14, where her parents would accompany her to gigs at places where she’d normally not be allowed due to her age. This also got her into a rave scene that further put her in connection with those in the music industry. This kind of experience around music explains why she feels like a veteran at such a young age; she turned 20 this August.
04. She’s a brilliant songwriter.
As mentioned before, most of her tunes are gems for lyrical poetry, but she’s also a fantastic writer of instantly-catchy pop jams. Example A – she wrote the summer smash “I Love It”, by Icona Pop, below.
“You want me down to Earth / But I am up in space / You’re so damn hard to please / We got to kill this switch / You’re from the 70s, but I’m a 90s bitch” – Pop Brilliance
05. She has a great voice (and can sing live).
This video of a set-up acoustic performance is arguably all that needs to be said regarding her voice and her skills when it comes to being a performer.
Ultimately, performances like this only make it even clearer why Charli XCX is going to be one of the biggest acts within the next year.