15. Charli XCX True Romance
Gothy British singer/songwriter Charli XCX takes you on a luxurious romantic journey on her debut album. By the end of True Romance's 13 songs, you'll know Charli, understand her vulnerabilities, and, likely, fall in love (again) with the decadent pleasures '80s synth-pop. A bit surprisingly, for someone coming out of the UK grime and rave scenes, Charli finds herself nuzzled in between the quirky sounds of late '90s girl groups, hints of R&B, and hypnotizing synth beats. This is pop music; it's fun even when it's dark.
The production is so catchy, you'll find yourself listening over and over to tracks like "You're the One" and "You (Ha Ha Ha)." Charli's rise to stardom was jumpstarted after writing, and singing on, Icona Pop's smash hit, "I Love It," which has just recently topped charts nearly a year after it's release. The song, with lyrics like "You want me down on Earth, but I am up in space/You're so damn hard to please, we gotta kill this switch/You're from the '70s, but I'm a 90s bitch" embodies Charli's entire creative vision—an awareness of generations of music that she effortlessly combines into the perfect pop music. If you dig it, we strongly encourage you: check out her album. —Lauren Nostro