With the frequency in which a new pop siren is rolled out by some label or another it’s always somebody else’s go. Right now, it’s Charlie XCX’s. Her stage persona, like with many updated consumer led products, shares the predicament that at first glance she appears to be all too similar to what has passed before, and tonight she’s not a million miles away from sounding like an extra hip Smash Hits cover star. On closer inspection, though, there are a few key differences that should see her confidently strut her way towards pop superstardom.
Flanked by two machine abusers, the trio fire through an electro-powered set indebted to brash ’80s pop that has been re-energised and buffered so that it has that modern day sheen; that iPad sell. The dark undercurrents of ‘Stay Away’ align with the work of Zola Jesus, but with a brighter burning pop flare, while the upbeat ‘Nuclear Season’ is the type of song that Gwen Stefani would flash a dagger-like glare at before running off to beg for something half as good. Ultimately, future pop princess Charli XCX has all that is required to separate her from the legions of other female solo artists also crying out for attention, perhaps even beyond next week.
By Nathan Westley
Originally published in issue 36 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2012