The last few years have been a bull market for young women with avant-garde interests exploring the outer orbits of synth-driven dance music. Friday in L.A., two of the best young talents make a case that this trend has no signs of slowing.
Over at Club Nokia Friday and the Bootleg Theater Saturday, the 19-year-old English singer-composer Charli XCX makes her proper live debut in the Southland. She's the latest signing to the local indie IAMSOUND, and it's easy to see why. Charli XCX was raised in London's derelict warehouse party scene. Early singles such as "Nuclear Seasons" and "Stay Away" have a dark, ravey fizz, like a glass of cherry Coke stained with black lipstick. As a vocalist, she has an ear for inhabiting songs with a lovelorn distance that might be a sign of our times.
"When the world's in dark times, amazing pop comes out of it," she said over the phone from a West Hollywood hotel where she was holed up as she finished tracks for her debut album a few weeks ago. "There's going to be a lot fewer songs about just being in the club. There's a backlash to all that ultra-sexualness, and darker artists can be beautiful too."