It’s a Charli XCX Christmas!
After unleashing one of my favorite records of 2011–“Stay Away”–as well as the bouncy, ’80’s-inspired “Nuclear Seasons,” goth-pop princess/London-bred songstress Charli XCX (check the “Introduucing…” from last year if you’re still unfamiliar!) makes her official US debut with You’re The One, her debut US EP.
The 4-track collection includes two original songs: “Nuclear Seasons,” which was released back in November, and “You’re The One,” the latest addition to Charli’s arsenal.
As soon as the EP begins, the title track comes tearing into the speakers with a blaring, mammoth-sized synthesized beat (which brings The Knife‘s “Heartbeats” to mind.) As aggressive as the production feels (courtesy of Ariel Rechtshaid, who also crafted “Nuclear Seasons” and “Stay Away”), there’s nothing but swoonage falling from Charli’s lips: “You’re the one that can make me stay/You’re the only one that makes me feel this way,” she cries. As per usual in Charli land, there’s plenty of ruddy romanticism to boot: “You’re the one that’s been stealing stars/Your golden arrow went through my heart.” Oh, l’amour!
There’s also two remixes included: The Blood Orange mix of “You’re The One,” which smooths out the heavy original into an eerie, echoing production with a tripping, urban beat (and some major xylophone work), and the Balam Acab mix of “Nuclear Seasons,” a truly heaven-sent reworking of the bouncy original. Both remixes are excellent examples of remixes that actually re-work their original blueprints and turn them into entirely new productions–they certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.
And just in case you were itching for more Charli after the EP, fear not: The songstress also just released a free 21-minute mixtape on her website called Heartbreaks & Earthquakes, which is all shades of brilliant. The collection includes 8 (!) original songs: Prepare for yelps echoing in the distance, trip-hop rapping, dark, spacey synthesizers, oh–and samples of Kill Bill and The Craft. (Yes, really!)
Between the snarling lyricism, moodier synthesizers, dramatic vocal acrobatics, and a plethora of power-pop melodies built in to keep the songs swimming in your brain for nights on end, Charli’s releases provide a strong case for sitting up and paying attention if you aren’t already: The end result is a strange, wonderfully experimental cross between Marilyn Manson, Marina + The Diamonds, The Weeknd and Gwen Stefani.
She’s dark, she’s different, and she’s bound to obliterate once her debut drops.
You’re The One EP was released on June 12. (iTunes)