Hear Charli XCX's Synth-Driven New Songs, 'Focus,' 'No Angel' - Rolling Stone
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Hear Charli XCX’s Synth-Driven New Songs, ‘Focus,’ ‘No Angel’

Tracks follow singer’s “5 in the Morning” single, collaborations with Rita Ora, Tove Lo

Hear Charli XCX's New Songs, 'Focus,' 'No Angel'Hear Charli XCX's New Songs, 'Focus,' 'No Angel'

Charli XCX slips into a hip-hop and synth-pop mode, respectively, on her two addictive new singles, "Focus" and "No Angel."

Charli XCX slips into hip-hop and synth-pop mode, respectively, on her two addictive new singles, “Focus” and “No Angel.” 

On “Focus,” the singer utilizes reverb-coated synths and programmed drums, moving from a borderline rapped flow to her expressive, heavily auto-tuned head voice. “I just want you to focus/ Better keep your composure like you trying to earn that diploma,” she sings. “Do it over and over, yeah/ Make it pop, Cola-Cola; make it hot, Barcelona.”

“No Angel” nestles somewhere Eighties synth-pop and DJ Mustard-styled production. “Baby, I’m bad to the bone,” she sings over thumping bass. “I just want to let you know that I’m no angel, but I can learn.”

The singles follow the May-issued “5 in the Morning” and recent guest spots on Rita Ora’s “Girls” (alongside Cardi B and Bebe Rexha), Tove Lo’s “Bitches” (with Icona Pop, Elephant and Alma) and Lil Xan’s “Moonlight.”

The wave of new music follows her 2017 mixtapes Number 1 Angel and Pop 2. The singer – who is opening for Taylor Swift on her massive Reputation stadium tour – recently told Rolling Stone she will probably record another album, though she’s growing disinterested with release formats.

“I think I will make [another] album, but what even is an album anymore?” she said. “My intent at the moment is that I just want to be releasing as much music as possible, whether that’s collaborations or my own songs. I think that just because it’s called a mixtape doesn’t mean it’s less valid. Over the past year and a half, I’ve realized how much I love being in the studio and how much I love collaborating and how much of a good curator I am. I just want to do that, whether that’s in mixtape form or album form or whatever.” 

In This Article: Charli XCX


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