Did you clear out the shed this weekend? Did you make a cake? Did you attend a barbecue and make soul-destroying smalltalk while clutching a wobbly plate onto which a friend of a friend you openly despise had placed a dry roll containing a sausage that was simultaneously burned and raw?
Did you go to a local fair and see Four Tet standing by a helter skelter? Did you find yourself in Ikea?
Did you have a few drinks on Friday then get so wrecked on Saturday that you spent Sunday crying alone in bed, your only contact with another human being amounting to no more than a twelve-second interaction with a man delivering a pizza that would leave you feeling physically nourished but psychologically bereft?
OR DID YOU CREATE ART?
Charli XCX created art. She created art at such a rate that all other humans operating in any area of artistic endeavour should pack up their pastels, drag their novels to the recycle bin, chuck their sculptures in a skip and set fire to their poetry. Charli XCX made all the art. Charli XCX made an entire album.
And yes you might look at that screenshot and say “well that’s Charli XCX talking the talk but maybe she ended up getting so wrecked on Saturday that she spent Sunday crying alone in bed, her only contact with another human being amounting to no more than a twelve-second interaction with a man delivering a pizza that would leave her feeling physically nourished but psychologically bereft”.
What a woman. So let’s give this album a title and present its tracklist.
Charli XCX — ’24 Hours’
1. ’20 Steps’
2. ‘Party Party’
3. ‘In My Arms’
4. ‘Happy Now’
6. ‘7 Days’
8. ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’
9. ‘I Got It’
We’re saying ‘Everything’ is the first single which doesn’t react and is retroactively viewed as a soft release, ‘Happy Now’ is the one Charli doesn’t like so much but ends up being the biggest hit, ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ has the best video, and the whole album campaign wraps up with ‘I Got It’, which underperforms when it’s initially released despite being a fan favourite and later becomes one of Charli’s signature songs — and the one with which she opens her 2023 Super Bowl halftime set — due to its inclusion on a critically panned but hugely popular US disaster movie.
OR SHE AND AG COOK COULD JUST WHACK THE ENTIRE THING ON SOUNDCLOUD THIS WEEK AS PART OF PC MUSIC’S MONTH OF MAYHEM WHICH IS SEEING THEM CHUCK NEW CONTENT ONLINE DAILY AND IS ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH. THEY COULD DO THAT COULDN’T THEY. YES THEY COULD.
To be absolutely clear the ’24 Hours’ nine-track album we’re dealing with here is different to the 10-track definitely-not-an-album mixtape Charli’s currently promoting, which featured work with AG Cook and took two weeks to make meaning that it’s precisely 1/14th as impressive as ’24 Hours’, and it’s also different to her actual new album — the one with ‘After The Afterparty’ on it — which Charli’s also sort of currently promoting, which also features work with AG Cook, and which seemed like it was ready at the end of last year and now looks like it will be out in 2018.
Charli had a good chat with The Fader last week, and part of that chat was all about her upcoming actual proper album.
I’m not going to touch the album until two months before it’s going to come out, because if I started working on it again I would probably write another four albums. Maybe more. I just write so much that it becomes confusing. Of course, some of the stuff I write isn’t good — some of it is terrible and will never see the light of day — and some of it is good, you know. I might do another mixtape before the album though.
There are six or seven songs that are 100% going on the album, and the four or five other songs could be on a mixtape or on an album. I could take them off or change them. To be honest, I’m not really thinking about it until I have a release date, and then I’ll just do it last minute. I prefer working in a stressful rush rather than doing one song a week. That’s my nightmare.
She also said this: “Continuously releasing music really suits the way that I work as a songwriter and as an artist.” And that’s the thing, isn’t it. You might as well just chuck stuff out. Some of it will catch fire and some of it will drift slowly past on a conveyor belt to nowhere. BUT SOME OF IT WILL CATCH FIRE.
Working outside the idea of I Must Release A Significant Album Every 18 Months And All Attention Must Always Be Directed At That One Release might be confusing for fans and radio and it’s definitely confusing for labels, but if you can’t just have a laugh with this thing we call pop, what’s the point?
Actually we’re drawing a line in the sand here.
There we go. Let’s just try it for a year or so.
Let’s just see what happens when the world of pop decides to Have A Fucking Laugh, and let’s just see what happens. It’s not as if anyone really, truly understand what’s happening in pop now. The whole thing’s already a total shambles. All the rules that used to work no longer apply. And maybe someone will win our £100 cash prize. Having A Laugh is the only sort of creative environment where people are really likely to make something exciting, isn’t it?
If it doesn’t work out we can just go back to everyone having sticks up their arses but Christ on a bike it’s got to be worth a try?