Charli XCX

"Four years ago a British singer named Charli XCX began releasing hilarious, knowing and sometimes absurd electro-pop songs. She poked at the pieties of too-cool downtown girls on "Art Bitch" and of too-cool rich girls on "!Franchesckaar!" She tossed off ditties that sounded like adult parodies of children's music, like "I Wanna Be Darth Vader." She sounded world-weary but still lighthearted, a club kid zoned out on Adult Swim cartoons, a Lady Gaga preamble... With age comes, if not wisdom, then at least polish and ambition. The Charli XCX of today — having released a couple of new British singles in recent months, and soon to release a debut American EP — is looking outward, not inward. Her best new songs, like "Stay Away" and "Nuclear Seasons," are grand, skillful pop, slicker and less adventurous than her earlier oeuvre. They are the songs of a pro." -- NY Times

"Her untamed appearance and stage presence bear little resemblance to her music, as heard in the impeccably produced, spiky synth-pop anthems "Stay Away" and "Nuclear Seasons," both of which gained major traction last year." --Rolling Stone

"The early Monday-night slot is by no means a prime gig; potential audience members are still shaking off the weekend cobwebs, counting the change from a couple of days of overindulgence and late-night taxi rides. But the British singer Charli XCX, first on a three-act bill at Santos last night, filled the downtown venue's main room and then electrified it with a performance that made it seem like she was trying to fight her way out of the heartbreak of which she sang in a physical way as much as a mental one.

Heartbreak can be kind of a bummer to watch in person, but Charli's live act—full of flailing and hair-whipping, and encouragement to the audience to let loose—was a spectacle, one that drew the audience infinitesimally closer with each punch of the air. She may sing of sour times on record, but in person she imbues her music with the boisterousness of teenpop, if not that genre's precise choreography; instead, her jumping and swatting and shaking of her sizeable mane give off the air of someone trying to achieve catharsis by any means necessary, whether it's through singing of the heartbreak she's experiencing or very literally shaking it out.

The set moved along briskly, with the rich melodies fanning throughout the room and her two backing musicians providing a plush bed for her to jump upon—the percussionist also got in a couple of good callbacks, sprinkling in a beat that sounded like that from "Sign O' The Times" to open "Stay Away" and a harrowing blown-out drum pattern borrowed from Portishead on "How Can I." Her voice cracked and bent as she sang of cemeteries and nuclear winters and people who had pried open her heart just long enough to expose the parts that feel pain." -- Village Voice

$12.00 - $14.00


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