Charli XCX’s Haywire “Von dutch” Is Our Song of the Week

Consequence’s Song of the Week highlights the latest and greatest new tracks each week. Find these new favorites and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist, and for other great songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Charli XCX returns with some fireworks.

Forget the ’80s pastiche of “New Shapes” or the early 2000s strut of “You Used to Know Me”: Charli XCX has made it back to the present, and it sounds like the future.

On her turbo-powered new single, “Von dutch,” the first offering from her forthcoming project Brat, Charli returns to the brash and brazen qualities of her early work while keeping her eyes on a fresh, futuristic sound. Fittingly, “Von dutch” was written and recorded during the same sessions that produced “Speed Drive,” Charli’s haywire, explosive song for the Barbie soundtrack. Here, producer Easyfun keeps the tempo flying, and with escalating synths that sound lifted from a jet turbine, Charli makes it sound like she’s careening towards a crash.

It’s not a new move for Charli XCX to embrace the idea that she’s untouchable. On “Von dutch,” she describes the type of “hater” that can’t stop giving her attention: “It’s okay to just admit that you’re jealous of me,” goes the song’s bratty opening, with Charli sneering “Yeah, I know your little secret” later on in the chorus. There’s no use pretending otherwise, Charli suggests. She knows you’re watching.

Charli has proven throughout the last decade that her voice is versatile and impressive. “Von dutch” is not adding to that legacy. She runs through the entire track on one root note, ending the phrases either a half-step higher or lower before going right back to that same tone. It lends a hypnotic air to “Von dutch,” made more surreal and engaging by the icy, industrial synths.

“Von dutch” is one of those songs with a music video that captures its spirit. Parading through Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport like she’s an action star fighting the cinematographer, Charli crawls on airplanes, hops turnstiles, and picks up cuts and bruises. It matches the high speed, hi-fi force that Easyfun imbues into the track, and Charli’s sharp gaze throughout makes her call of “I’m your number one” feel like a villain’s egotistical mantra.

Indeed, Charli is both villain and hero on “Von dutch” — she is absurd and uncannily real. She’s the patron saint of the club and the demon of the pop machine. She is utterly magnetic

— Paolo Ragusa
Associate Editor

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