XCX 3. Everytime it gets close, it seems to run away
Until now

Charli XCX unveils herself as Pop’s reigning queen with the announcement of her third studio album, cover art, track listing and late 2019 tour.

There are many myths that society has been defined by in our history. Mysteries which, as a dynamic, creative, forward-thinking people, we have sought to solve. The lost city of Atlantis, for example, or the Holy Grail.  But, it’s clear that no such conundrum has eluded us so much in recent years as that of Charlotte Aitchinson’s ever-anticipated third album, dangled so sweet in front of our noses for seemingly decades, the (until today) fan-titled ‘XCX 3’.

Well, disciples, the day of reckoning is upon us. And it looks STUNNING.

Get out your sunscreen and prepare to vroom vroom, bitches; today marks the dawn of a new era, the rest of our lives, and the first step into an XCX future.

XCX 3 (which is what we’ll be calling it until we drop the name of the album later in this article) has been seen in tweets for so long that it almost feels like it already exist, and in a sense, and in a lot of music libraries, it already does. Fans who were quick to jump on 2018’s Google Drive leak (wherein Charli had catalogues’ worth of material hacked from her and uploaded online) already know the lyrics to ‘Taxi’, ‘Sticky’, and the timeless ‘Our Boyfriend’. You can keep them, babe, because this tracklist is, for the most part, all fresh.

True to XCX taste, you can guarantee that any previously heard lyrics will have been given a similar treatment to Pop 2’s Track 10, which we all now know as the super smash hit ‘Blame It On Your Love feat. Lizzo’. Coincidentally, the official video of which has also dropped today, serving looks, stunting pretty, and championing positive self-love amidst this years’ most insatiable hook yet.

Charli has been known, through her mixtapes (the aforementioned Pop 2 and predecessor Number 1 Angel) to blend genre, dominating lyrics and future-thinking features to create a solid frame of work that stands on its own for years to come.

Given by the tracklist, this is exactly what she’s gone and done again. 15 tracks deep and with an impressive 14 features, it’s enough to render any fan aflame, and any stan unconscious. The first track, titled Next Level Charli, is sure to be the re-introduction we’ve been craving to the ravey, underground Charli that has been simmering away in her chrysalis since her last studio album, 2014’s Sucker.

Those who have ventured online will have surely noticed snippets of a song with Christine and the Queens, which premiered at Primavera Festival at the end of May; this checks in at track number two.

All in all, the album serves as a who’s who of the current, and important, landscape of current contemporary music. Newcomer Kim Petras is teased alongside fellow Pop 2 veteran Tommy Cash, teaming up together on a hit called Click, while CupcakKe, Brooke Candy and Pabllo Vittar ALL feature AGAIN, on a track called Shake It. Any familiar with the seductive, experimental I Got It will know EXACTLY how powerful this foursome can be; and with Big Freedia credited too, we know that this is gonna be an instant replayer (tbf, high expectations for it all).

Troye Sivan is recruited once again for 2099, which the duo debuted recently at Go West Fest, an LGBTQ+ Pride event, while Haim, Sky Ferreira and even Yaeji (!!) make guest appearances on other tracks. There are six solo-Charli tracks, a breath-easy for fans who were perhaps worried that the mixtape format and Charli’s mantra of ‘more is better’ would only gain traction in future music. But where are you gonna be able to see this music?

Our girl’s got you covered. Announcing a stellar Tour, Charli will be in the US from September through to October, with supports including Brooke Candy, Dorian Electra, Allie X, and Tommy Genesis (check out 100 Bad on Tommy’s album… the two will be sure to perform it together). She then hits Europe, with shows festivals before hitting the U.K. for Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and even London on Halloween, before an impressive European run through November.

Tickets go on sale via Charli’s Tumblr on June 21st, so get your Nespresso’s set; if it’s going to be anything like the Pop 2 scramble, you’re going to want your eggs in your belly, and your tickets in one basket… yours. Check your city, bookmark the web link, and get fucking ready. Oh, and the title of the album? CHARLI. But deep down, you already knew that, didn’t you?

Words by James Hawkridge / Photography by Marcus Cooper

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