When you hear the name Charli XCX, the first thing that comes to mind is likely her feature on Iggy Azalea’s hit 2014 single, “Fancy” or “Boom Clap” from The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack. But, there’s more to the English singer-songwriter worth noting.
Prior to “Fancy,” Charli XCX released the song “I Love It” with Swedish electro-pop duo Icona Pop in 2013. It quickly went number one in her home country of England and made it to number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She has since written and recorded four LP’s: “True Romance” (2013), “Sucker” (2014), “Charli” (2019) and “How I'm Feeling Now” (2020).
Additionally, she has co-written several popular songs with other artists including “Same Old Love” for Selena Gomez, “Boys & Girls” for will.i.am, and “Señorita” for Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello. In between albums, Charli has released several mixtapes including Number 1 Angel (2017), which included an all-female featured artist list.
Charli has gone through a lot while simultaneously clearing a path for future female artists. In August of 2017, a majority of her third album was leaked and the remaining tracks were leaked in 2018. Following this devastating invasion of musical privacy, she scrapped the entire project and started over. While still dealing with the after effects of the whole situation, she released her mixtape “Pop 2” (2017) and her second attempt at a third album, “Charli,” was released in 2019. Her perseverance is remarkable and proves further why she deserves her spot in music history.
Charli XCX is only the second artist included in a “Tunes with Tate” column I’ve seen live, the other being Taylor Swift for whom she opened for on Swift's “reputation” stadium tour in 2018 alongside Camila Cabello. Having been largely unfamiliar with her music, I was impressed. My best friend and I danced in our seats in the hot July sun genuinely having a good time as we watched FirstEnergy Stadium fill to the brim with people. She had great energy and I will unapologetically admit that I sang along to “Boom Clap.”
“How I’m Feeling Now,“ though, is not my favorite. The genre of electro-pop is not something I’ve ever been a big fan of when it comes to casual listening. I could see myself dancing to it with my friends post-COVID but it’s not something I’d gravitate towards otherwise. But, after reading about Charli, it seems like that was a key thing she kept in mind, saying in a Glamour interview, “Clubs are really fruitful, creative spaces for me. I get inspired lyrically, visually, the whole thing. The light and lasers in clubs or at raves, the space itself. It's very inspiring to me… Partying is a place where I feel very free.” In addition, I’m very impressed by the fact that this album was written and recorded in a matter of weeks during quarantine; I was definitely not that productive.
Music aside, I have a lot of respect for Charli XCX for her outward support of the LGBTQ+ community and for consistently encouraging people to vote leading up to the 2020 presidential election. The way she navigates her fame and uses her platform for what she believes in is very authentic and she credits a lot to the LGBTQ+ community. She has worked with many queer artists over the years including the late SOPHIE, Christine and the Queens, Troye Sivan and many others. I think we can all take a page out of her book.
Moving on from my own thoughts, here’s what my family had to say about “How I’m Feeling Now:“
Mom: It’s very noisy. It gave me a headache. I am officially old. 3-out-of-10.
Dad: It’s not good for me. All I could think of was the nightclub scene in your typical Hollywood film. If I attend a rave I’ll bring this. Otherwise, nah. Just not my thing. Can’t even honestly rate it as a result, but, I’m going with 2-out-of-10.
Brother: Not a fan. Sounds like weird EDM crap. Would not listen to this probably ever. Bad. 2-out-of-10. The texture is WAAAAY off on this one.
I listened to a few seconds of the first song on this album and knew immediately it was not going to be a “fam”-favorite. Any song played on the radio with even a hint of an electronic vibe is immediately turned off with them so I didn’t have high hopes for this one. Some of her previous music isn’t as electronic but still feels like party music, so they might like that more but it’s hard to tell. While How I’m Feeling Now is not my, nor my family’s cup of tea, I’d say it’s worth a listen to see if it’s yours.
Tate Raub is a freshman studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Tate? Tweet her @tatertot1310.