19-year-old Charli XCX is a real stunner in this scant, unembellished rendition of her deep and dark 2011 single “Stay Away” filmed at London’s Dalston Heights. Singing powerfully with gutter gravel in her voice, she delivers the song’s harsh warning with cool calm. Her shadowy mop of curls is tied elegantly at the crown of her head and her outfit of simple separates, a departure from her typical queen club kid fare, is smartly on point. There’s no distortion on her vocals and, unlike in her kaleidoscopic “Nuclear Seasons” clip, there are no corny filters glossing over the video. It’s the first time she’s appeared so spare, so it feels like a coming out. And a promise, even more so than that of her previous downer-pop output, of great things to come.
Will Charli, who started playing gigs when she was 14 and delivers both sass and heartache with poise, charm an enormous audience this year? Catch up on her releases below and tell us what you think in the comments.