The Charli XCX "Shake It Off" cover is wondrously punky
Have you found yourself listening to Taylor Swift’s now-iconic “Shake It Off” for the hundredth time and racked your brain for a way to love it even more? If you’ve ever thought “Shake It Off” could be improved by a little more guitar, drums, and snarl (or you know, if you’re thinking that now that we said it), Charli XCX has got you covered.
Charli, whose latest album Sucker blew bubblegum kisses around our hearts, is no stranger to ridiculously catchy songs — Sucker is full of them, from The Fault in Our Stars anthem “Boom Clap” to sassy-sweet single “Doing It.” And then there are the songs she’s featured on: Icona Pop’s “I Love It” (which she co-wrote) and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” both pop culture and radio smashes.
With those pop credentials, Charli’s “Shake It Off” seems a little raw – isn’t she a pop star, after all? While both Charli and Swift are pop artists through and through, when it comes to their self-presentation, they couldn’t be more different: Swift’s the all-star BFF with the confessional lyrics, while Charli is the ’90s rave kid wreaking sonic havoc, one monster hook at a time. But that’s not to say that she can’t tone it down — check out her cover of the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way.”
Charli’s “Shake It Off” is fast, sparse, and pretty damn punk — she and her all-lady band rip through that sick beat in double-time, punctuated by some Lorde-like shimmy-dancing. BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge has seen some pretty spectacular covers in the past, but this just rocketed up our all-time faves list.