Sunday, June 30, 2013

Artist of the Day- Charli XCX

Chances are you've heard Icona Pop's surprise hit "I Don't Care" if you've ventured to the club or flipped the radio on in the past month. Forgotten in the furor over the Swedish duo's success is the featured artist and writer of the anthem, Charlotte Aitchison, better known as Charli XCX. Ahead of her time as a member of the new British assault on American pop radio led by Adele, Jessie J (who also wrote a hit single for another artist, Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA" before finding success of her own with "Domino" and "Price Tag") and Cher Lloyd, Charli was signed as 14-year-old on the strength of her MySpace hits "Art Bitch" and "iFranchesckaar!" Since then, she has gone basically dormant. Potential debut 14 was never released and although she released two EPs in 2011, neither of them was received with much fanfare or promotional material. She's certainly a different breed of starlet- her vocals sound like a laryngitic Ellie Goulding, her choice in style is hard to identify (although the picture provided a cross between Helena Bonham Carter and Marina Diamandis, another UK import who hasn't made big waves on the pop charts)- but she still calls rising star Sky Ferreira among her close friends and released 2013's True Romance on Atlantic Records. The five promotional singles from her debut failed to generate the same amount of buzz combined as "I Don't Care" has, but this seems par for the course for Charli XCX. Her album was delayed for a full year, has been in production since 2010 and she still can't justify the Next Big Thing label Atlantic certainly placed over her head six years ago when they took a chance on the precocious teen. None of her music may be radio-ready yet, but she has such a distinct persona and ability to nail her interpretation of 80's synth-pop, it seems inconceivable that she will remain an insider secret for much longer. The worst thing that could happen is she becomes Ester Dean, clandestinely writing all your favorite Top 40 songs, quietly hoping one day she will be the one scoring your backseat singalongs.


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