Super cool Charli XCX is one of the UK’s coolest pop stars. Casually uploading photos to Twitter of herself hanging out with Sky Ferreira is not uncommon and she’s also spent a large chunk of 2012 supporting Coldplay on various legs of their Mylo Xyloto world tour. The Hertfordshire-born 20 year old has just released her Super Ultra EP which you can download for free from her SoundCloud page. Leading track is ‘Cloud Aura’, and whilst it isn’t as instantly likeable as previous tracks like ‘Nuclear Seasons‘ and ‘You’re The One’, it makes me wonder what her 2013 debut record will actually sound like.
‘Cloud Aura’ is hugely progressive from her previous EPs and mixtapes; electronically experimental, and featuring the American rapper/stripper Brooke Candy (Who you might recognise from Grimes’ video for ‘Genesis‘ from earlier in the year). Even as she aches about heartbreak in her half-rapping-half-singing voice, XCX sounds effortlessly cool, and her dulcet tones are perfectly suited to the jumpy mish-mash of synths and backing vocals that accompany her. Brooke Candy is a surprisingly good rapper (Despite her weird persona expressed in the video), and her style complements XCX well with her honest but punchy verse.
Perhaps my only problem with this is that, with XCX, I am always expecting everything to be catchy. In reality, this track is a ballad with plenty of drum machines and synths thrown in, and for a ballad this is actually a brilliant effort. Showing that not all ballads need to be boring, Charli XCX may dress like she’s from the 90s, but her music is thoroughly futuristic in its thinking.
Charli XCX’s debut album is expected to be released next February, so watch out for her name on the ‘Ones To Watch for 2013’ lists when they start flooding in in the next few weeks.