Oh, what's that? There's a new Drake album? His eighth in nine years, including playlists and mixtapes and collabs? It's a double album, comprising 25 tracks, aka three-and-a-half times the length of DAYTONA? He's been teasing it all year with a long and protracted album rollout that included three damn singles, Degrassi reunions, diss tracks, moody trailers and custom jackets for DJ Khaled? It feels like it's been going for my whole life but actually it's just been six tiny months? GIMME A BREAK, AMIRIGHT???
No, but really. I am deeply intrigued to hear Drake's new record Scorpion––partly because I want to know if there's another "Nice For What"-level banger on there, partly because I want to hear the Michael Jackson song, partly because I'm a masochist––but even the most die-hard of Drake fans are probably getting a bit tired of the preamble by now. When Very Big Albums come along, it's easy to get a bad taste in your mouth from the overexposure. That's not how music should be. Music should be pleasurable, usually! Especially pop music! Which is why I'm here to give you a little palate cleanser, in the form of a surprise new single from Charli XCX––basically the antithesis of Drake in every way, shape and form.
Charli has just dropped "Focus" and "No Angel", two new loosies, and they both absolutely knock. "Focus", produced by A.G. Cook and Jack & Coke, is full Pop 2-style pop-trance, but "No Angel", produced by SOPHIE and "Fancy" producers Invisible Men, is a bit of a throwback to old-school bubblegum pop Charli––it would feel at home on Sucker or True Romance just fine. My favourite Charli mode is Charli doing crush songs (think "Superlove", "Valentine") and "No Angel" is firmly in the centre of that category. Each song scratches a very specific itch, and they are both great.
"Focus" and "No Angel" follow Charli's other recent loosie "5 In The Morning", Charli's attempt at a Post Malone-style trap anthem. In recent months, she's also collaborated with Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha and Cardi B (on "Girls"); Lil Xan ("Moonlight"); and Tove Lo, ALMA, Icona Pop and Elliphant ("Bitches"). Per a press release, "Focus", "No Angel" and "5 In The Morning" are just the beginning of "a constant flow of music" that Charli will be releasing over the coming months. It's XCX Season, bitch!
Stream "Focus" and "No Angel" below:
Shaad D'Souza is Noisey's Australian editor. Follow him on Twitter.