To mark the release of our favourite pop diva Charli XCX's new album, BRAT, we analyse some belters that we believe inspires her sound.

‘Hung Up’ by Madonna

You can’t help but feel like Madonna is Charli XCX’s long-lost elder sister. A pair of pop innovators, Charli has expressed admiration for Madonna’s borderless music, constantly changing and evolving as time progresses. Sampling ABBA’s iconic 'Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)', 'Hung Up' sees Madonna go full-blown disco-mode, beckoning everyone and their mother to the dancefloor and creating a noughties club staple.

‘Trouble’ by Shampoo

You can picture a teenage Charli blasting this tune on her way to school. Released by female duo Shampoo in 1994, ‘Trouble’ found new life in the rebellious soundtrack of the 2007 film, St Trinian’s. Charli has previously dubbed Shampoo as the ‘original Spice Girls’, and it’s easy to see why. This bubble-gum anthem, brimming with sass, was nothing short of a staple at '90s school discos, and is still well-loved today.

‘Piece of Me’ by Britney Spears

Arguably the most iconic c*nty song ever made, ‘Piece of Me’ takes girl boss energy to the next level. The second most c*nty song, is arguably Charli’s ‘Von Dutch’, which is as utterly chaotic and tongue-in-cheek-ly narcassistic as ‘Piece of Me’. Both tracks are basement club floor-fillers, with their bending synths and noughties’ sleaziness. Just imagine the cultural phenomenon if these two ever collaborate. After all, Charli has long cited Britney as a dream collaborator. Come on Britney, make it happen.

‘Yoga’ by Brooke Candy, Only Fire

Doing erotic club her way, Brooke Candy leaves fans tied up in knots with her pristine yet brazen pop. In tracks like ‘Yoga’, she ventures into daring territory, where even the term itself is a euphemism for sex. With her and Charli previously working together on the straight-talking ‘Cloud Aura’, taken from Charli’s 2012 mixtape, Super Ultra, you can imagine Charli playing one of Brooke’s sultry tracks in her sets, sending shockwaves through the crowd for its effervescent energy.

‘First Love' by Uffie

Uffie’s ‘First Love’ could easily be dubbed as one of Charli’s bangers. Packed with synth-y goodness and a bold vocal delivery, it's unapologetically in-your-face. Uffie’s long-lasting influence on Charli’s artistry is evident to see, inspiring her to craft the synth-tastic, house-inspired tracks we see from her today.

‘Fembot’ by Robyn

Swedish girl-genius Robyn has been a close friend of Charli's for years, to the extent that Charli dubbed her a 'hero' in 2020 for V magazine. Gaining recognition as a coveted opening act for Robyn, before her global stardom, their friendship has swiftly morphed into an iconic pop culture moment. ‘Fembot’ has an icy soundscape, with synthesised hi-hats, lush harmonies and breathy moans creating an otherworldly sound akin to Charli's.

‘The Fear’ by Lily Allen

Charli once lauded Lily Allen’s heroic outspokenness, but it's a trait they both share, and just as Charli fearlessly speaks her mind, ‘The Fear’ stands as a modern pop milestone. The 2009 release showcased Lily's ahead-of-its-time synth-pop sound. Both rising from MySpace, these feminist icons are kindred spirits.

‘I’ll Do It’ by Heidi Montag

Heidi Montag is pop’s most overlooked genius and ‘I’ll Do It’ stands as one of the raciest and boldest tracks in music history. With lyrics like “Come eat my panties off of me”, Heidi dives into her lover’s fantasies with cheekiness, sexiness and empowerment, which are traits that Charli embodies with ease.

'Just A Girl’ by No Doubt

Reuniting at this year’s Coachella, Gwen Stefani's No Doubt brought the house down with their ‘90s and ‘00s hits, but ‘Just A Girl’ stole the show. Charli has hailed the track as a 'great girl-power anthem', and rightly so. Deep bass and reverberating electric guitar licks drive a compelling narrative and sticks up a middle finger to the patriarchy.

‘All The Things She Said’ by t.A.T.u

Charli loves ‘All The Things She Said’ so much that she declared it as her dream cover song, with none other than Taylor Swift. And who can blame her? Recorded by Russian music duo t.A.T.u, the track hit #1 on the Billboard chart in the U.K for its dark, futuristic soundscape that guarantees a head bang or two.

Listen to BRAT now:


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