Charli XCX joined an indie-rock supergroup at Thursday’s NME Awards, delivering a soulful protest version of the Rolling Stones‘ 1969 anthem “Gimme Shelter.” The band, dubbed “Bands 4 Refugees” wearing “Choose Love” tee shirts, featured Pixie Geldof, Marika Hackman and members of Peace, Slaves, Years & Years, Circa Waves, Swim Deep and Black Honey. They performed in front of a backdrop urging for donations to United Kingdom refugee charity Help Refugees.
The singer spoke to NME on the event’s red carpet, where she hyped both her upcoming third LP and a new mixtape planned for later this month. “It’s just songs that me and [electronic producer] A.G. Cook made in like two weeks in L.A. when I was feeling really depressed,” she said of the release. “It’s like 10 whole new songs, basically. It’s a mixtape so it can just go out for free, but it’s essentially like a whole new album … Just giving shit away.”
She also enthused about her writing contribution to Blondie’s upcoming all-star album, Pollinator – a track she wrote at age 15. “I actually haven’t heard their final version of it yet, but of course I’m super excited,” she said. “It’s Blonde. That’s huge … I remember playing that song when I was like 15 years old. I think there’s footage on YouTube of me doing it.”
In October, Charli XCX released the boisterous single “After the Afterparty,” which previews her as-yet-untitled new album. Last month, she told Rolling Stone that the track’s more straightforward approach is roughly “half-representative” of the record, which she described as “a champagne shower of badass pop.”