Charli XCX has become a prime example of what it means to be an innovative pop star. We remember her steady rise after her collab with duo Icona Pop on their hit song ‘I Don’t Care’ and when ‘Boom Clap’ earned its spot as a summer smash. She’s grown creatively, conjuring up some of her best work.
Charli’s past two mixtapes ‘Number 1 Angel’ and ‘Pop 2’ included collaborations with unexpected artists, revering her as a dynamic pop maven. Now the 26-year-old is set to release her third album ‘Charli‘ on September 13 and it’s been revealed to have a variety of exciting features. In honor of her first LP in nearly five years, we’re counting down some of our favorite Charli collabs—we can’t help but bask in the eccentricity of these ten tracks.
10. ‘Doing It’ feat. Rita Ora
Going all the way back to Charli’s ‘Sucker’ era, her track ‘Doing It’ alongside Rita Ora is a classic sass-filled anthem. It’s groovy, dance-inducing, and catchy all rolled into one. Perhaps it was the true beginning to the artist’s inevitable knack for collaborating—it contains an addictive hook that manages to stay stuck in our heads even after one fateful listen.
9. ‘1999’ feat. Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan helped Charli transport us back to the 90s in ‘1999.’ With references to classic Britney Spears hits and pop culture trends, the singer managed to make us yearn for those good ol’ days but at the same time, dread our pending adulthood. And since when did CD players become vintage? Charli makes us ask the important questions.
8. ‘Dream Glow’ with BTS
As a feature on K-pop group BTS‘ recent hit ‘Dream Glow,’ Charli completes an otherworldly synthpop fantasy. With BTS’ rising popularity worldwide, it proves the pop star’s caliber of fame. She has become known for her epic collaborative projects—one alongside a world-famous boyband is beyond impressive.
7. ‘Tears’ feat. Caroline Polachek
‘Tears’ featuring Caroline Polachek of the synthpop band Chairlift swiftly makes our top ten. Infused with a hard rock sound and far-off screams fading into the background, the track reminds us of miserable breakups and yearning for an unbroken heart. The duo convey desperation naturally through electric pop perfection.
6. ‘Lipgloss’ feat. CupcakKe
With CupcakKe on her side and innuendo-laced lyrics, ‘Lipgloss’ wormed its way into our hearts. The rapper works her creative magic, adding her signature twist into Charli’s pop production craft. Her upbeat choruses make us want to shake it out while CupcakKe slides in with her iconic badassery, accentuating a song that has easily become one of Charli’s best collabs.
5. ‘Blame It On Your Love’ feat. Lizzo
Lizzo naturally makes everything better. The body posi queen worked alongside Charli on their song ‘Blame It On Your Love’ and might have saved the music industry in the process. An ode to all-encompassing love and conflicting feelings, the pair deliver pop perfection. With a dance-heavy beat and an addicting chorus, this makes our top five as one of Charli’s best collaborative tracks.
4. ‘Gone’ feat. Christine and the Queens
As the most recent single from the singer’s third album, ‘Gone’ is a psychedelic pop dream. Christine and the Queens’ Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier offers her idiosyncrasies, joining Charli’s desperate call for purpose. While the song delivers a message of hopeless longing, the pair do it in a dance-filled passion—but hey, we’re not complaining.
3. ‘1 Night’ with Mura Masa
Showing off a softer side to Charli’s intense pop-centric style, ‘1 Night’ with Mura Masa delivered a pleasant surprise. Laced with a simple message of regrettable decisions, Charli’s voice works well in a track that’s meant to convey a feeling of mixed signals among friends and one-time lovers.
2. ‘Out Of My Head’ feat. Tove Lo and ALMA
Put three powerful women in one track and what’s the result? Tove Lo, ALMA, and Charli presented us with the best gift possible in the form of ‘Out Of My Head.’ They’re practically begging for a past ex-lover to escape the most inner parts of their mind. It’s like singing passionately alongside close girlfriends, trying to forget those tough breakups. We’re reminded of girls’ nights out, spent hamming it up in front of the camera, wanting to make that so-called ex-boyfriend jealous.
1. ‘Backseat’ feat. Carly Rae Jepsen
Anything with Carly Rae Jepsen is automatically guaranteed to grab the top spot. ‘Backseat’ is a slow pop banger, incorporating Charli’s lower vocals with Jepsen’s wispy high range. While it might seem like they’re duking it out for dominance, their contrasting styles meet together to result in a heavenly pop dynamic. There’s a focal point to the track that the duo both agree on—they’re “better off alone.”
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