Charli XCX started 2016 with a bang on her Vroom Vroom EP, teaming up with a number of PC Music artists—most notably the producer SOPHIE, who worked on the entire EP—to release something explosive, abrasive and in a pop style completely different from what she’d done on Sucker in 2014. Strangely enough, After The Afterparty signals another sharp turn for Charli as we come closer to the release of her third album.
After The Afterparty bears all the marks of its main producers, the duo production team Stargate, with a punchy beat and plinking piano line being the main focal points of the song. SOPHIE’s style finds itself coming through in the little electronic bursts and the futuristic blasts that come with each punch of the beat, and the two different styles largely work well together. It’s a much cuter track than anything from Vroom Vroom, in line with Charli’s claims that she was going for pure pop this time around, and it’s a catchy take on the party anthems that appear on the charts regularly. Lil Yachty’s rap verse is largely unobtrusive and fits the flow of the song well, mixing with Charli’s catchy hooks perfectly.
If you were looking for something as unexpected as what we heard from Charli earlier this year, After The Afterparty isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. However, it’s still a ridiculously catchy track in a hyper pop style that mixes the styles of its producers well and features all the XCX hooks fans have come to expect. It’s an instantly appealing lead single, and a strong teaser for her untitled third album.