Dua Lipa and Charli XCX. Two visions of pop, two superstars
Primavera Sound 2022
Far from those times when the Primavera Sound brand was limited only to ‘indie’ rock, this year offers us the unparalleled opportunity to see two of the biggest pop stars in the world at the same festival, they are of similar ages, they are both English, both are tireless hit songwriters, but while Charli looks to the sounds of the future, Dua specializes in 'futurising' the sounds of the past.
Dua Lipa, 26 years old and of Kosovar Albanian family origin, has been responsible for the best pop album released during the COVID 19 pandemic, that masterpiece called “Future Nostalgia”. Some compare this album with Madonna's “Confessions on the dancefloor”, and yes, they have a lot in common. They have the same producer, Stuart Price, they both are influenced by samples and eighties pop, to become a fresh, modern, catchy and irresistible product.
The key word is “allusion”: Future Nostalgia hits remind us of old hits (for example, “Break my heart” has a melody inspired by the guitar riff of INXS “Need you tonight” and “Love again” has the same orchestral sampling as White Town's “Your woman”, but Dua makes them her own and takes them to the top of pop quality.
As a corollary to this album dedicated to dance floors, there is the clubber version called “Club Future Nostalgia”, where the versions of the songs from the original album were mixed by The Blessed Madonna to achieve an hour-long dance continuum full of featuring stars including the 'Blonde Ambition' herself. After a thousand postponements, the tour of this fundamental album of the present decade finally arrives in Barcelona.
The other side comes from the side of Charli XCX, who after having succeeded as a composer from 2010 onwards (hers is, for example, the mega hit "I love it" by Icona Pop), since 2015 she has dedicated herself to investigating pop avant-garde underground, and with subgenres such as the so-called Hiper Pop, whose main head was the late producer SOPHIE, with whom she collaborated on the successful and futuristic EP “Vroom vroom” from 2016, whose influence is still felt in multitudes of well-known and not so well known artists who have stuck to making that formula.
The excuse now is to present her latest album “Crash”, a tribute to the cult film by David Cronemberg, in which Charli closes the contract with her old record label and gives us a more accessible album, although without giving up that visionary attitude that made her a favorite within the alternative press.
Dua Lipa performs on Thursday, June 9 at Primavera Sound.
Charli XCX performs on Thursday, June 2 and Thursday, June 9 at Primavera Sound.