We’ve written about Charli XCX and her musical journey before, but we think it’s worth revisiting and then extending it a bit further again.
As we see it there are three stages so far. Think of it as a trilogy describing the move from base camp to further up the mountain. The peak will be when the album comes out, which can’t be long now can it?
Basecamp / Stage 1 “The Formative Years” (2008-9 ish)
Alternatively known as the ‘hyperactive-dayglo-tinfoil- electropop years’. It was the time when Charli XCX was frankly a bit annoying, but somehow loveable at the same time. Like your younger teen sister who has eaten too many lollipops. She had a song called Neon Fashion and Glowstix and quoted a desire for unicorns, cupcakes, jam, dreams and bubbles amongst other things. It was all a bit uncomfortable really and we wrote about it here.
Halfway up the mountain / Stage 2 (2011 ish)
Alternatively known as the “grown-up-dark-pop-years”. It was the period when a lot of music bloggers came on board. Remixes from the likes of Salem and coverage on big American blogs suddenly repositioned her as the new underground gothpop queen of cool.
Nearly at the top / Stage 3 (2012-13)
A progressive development of Stage 2, but with the bloggers firmly in support and radio taking interest Charli XCX could regress a little to her brighter more colourful days in stage 1. So for new single You (Ha Ha Ha) we get the cool (big Gold Panda sample), the edgy sweary lyrics “we used to be the cool kids, you were old school I was on the new shit,” but we also get a video that apart from the guns is a mass of colour and energetic dancing that has more in keeping with The Spice Girls than anything else. There’s a bit of All Saints in the song as well in the spoken word section. So we’re talking late 90’s girl band pop with oomph really.
So as Charli XCX makes the bold steps towards the summit, we wait to see how it all ties together as an album. Hopefully it will all be rather good. We're pretty confident it will be. Oh, and if you get the chance to see Charli live - do so. Trust us this girl dances with attitude.
Ps: Don’t ask us what happened to 2010. We don’t really know ourselves. Even a blog post we wrote on her then then just gave a load of question marks.
Charli XCX - You (Ha Ha Ha)