Charli XCX believes that if you zig-zag fast enough, you won’t get stuck in a rut. I don’t believe that’s how automobiles function, but the notion has worked for her in the past. Songs by Charli XCX are rigorous yet lighthearted, huge, and ambitious yet elusive. It’s based on a love of the pop canon and a forward-thinking outlook. Her music has a retrofuturistic sound and style, with songs that sound like caricatures of 1999 and the year 3000 and album art that looks like space goo.
Charli XCX is a DIY artist with a pop star’s creative flair. She takes chances and has an impact on the mainstream despite not being in it. Charli spent much of her life finding pop without conforming to it, and now she’s changing it. She’s already amassed a vast and varied discography in less than a decade, with a staggering number of songs to name her crowning achievements. So, if you have just discovered Charli XCX through his hits songs like ‘Boom Clap’ and want to listen to more of her, here are the best songs by Charli XCX that you are bound to love.
5. “What I Like” (From True Romance, 2013)
True Romance’s song “What I Like” is the album’s quietest track. Charli ditches the glitz and glam in favor of daydreaming and serenity. She’s direct and understated, half-rapping about a new romance with a smirk and a giggle. It’s the eve of a storm.
When she gets to the pre-chorus, she hears some faint thunder, and her voice becomes tenser. With a music video that oozes eyeliner-smeared teen girl Tumblr at its peak, the attitude-forward, lo-fi mix seems like a throwback to the 2010s. It sounds like bedroom pop, except it was recorded in a hotel suite with all of your buddies.
4. “Anthems” (From How I’m Feeling Now, 2020)
Charli’s penchant for partying is well-documented. However, the need for a night out is urgent on her quarantine album, How I’m Feeling Now. She sings like her sanity is on the line when she sings about partying and performing. She yearns for some sort of release. So “Anthems,” created by PC Music’s Danny L Harle and 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady, became a cathartic banger about couch-bound mood swings.
It’s an anthem for a restless, lonely generation of grownups who are feeling like grounded teenagers in the year 2020, and it lives up to its moniker. In the midst of quarantine, Charli workshopped “Anthems” with her followers via Instagram Live, one way she could interact with the community she’d developed in a year without traveling.
3. “Gone” (From Charli, 2019)
Charli’s worries and insecurities are exposed on her third album, which is titled after her. “Gone” brings us back to earth for the start of Act I after the exciting I’m-never-going-to-die opening track. For a synth-pop panic attack, Charli collaborates with Christine And The Queens’ Hélose Letissier.
The slinky sonic ropes of A. G. Cook and entangle them, with each artist attempting to break free in turn. They slog through the chorus, leaning on one another, burdened by self-imposed constraints. When ideas spiral out far enough to unravel themselves, there’s a ray of hope at the breaking point.
2. “1999” (Ft. Troye Sivan, 2019)
Moving on to the next song on our Charli XCX song list, we have 1999. Troye Sivan co-wrote the song with her. This song has a Jessie J meets Britney Spears vibe to it. The track appeared on the Charli album. In 2018, the album came out. The song was the album’s first single. The song charted at number thirteen in the United Kingdom. The song charted at number eighteen in Austria.
1. “Track 10” (From Pop 2, 2017)
Pop 2 is a design for a pop utopia ruled by collaboration, messed-up feelings, and the search for never-before-heard sounds. Life Sim, Lil Data, and A. G. Cook of PC Music produced the five-and-a-half-minute epic that closes out the feature-packed mixtape. “Track 10” is both harrowing and ecstatic. Charli is led inward by a bright dial-up symphony. Bass burbles and stuttering glitches make up her heartbeat.
It starts up but then breaks down, bursting into a million metal pieces and crystals. “Every time I screw up, I blame it on your love,” she says, her voice shaking and swelling into a twisted howl. What makes Pop 2 so compelling is how deeply human it is. The purpose of maximalist electronic manufacture is open-heart surgeries. Thus, it operates more like a surgical gadget than cold armor.
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