Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen Make Emotional Pop Magic on ‘Backseat’ (LISTEN)
Rebecca Black once pondered, while rolling out with her pals on a legendary Friday night, "Which seat can I take?" If Charli XCX and Carly Rae Jepsen's latest song is any indication, the "Backseat" is where the party's at.
After teasing fans about a potential collaboration earlier this month, the two pop princesses did indeed team up on Charli's glossy new mixtape, Pop 2, out today (Friday, December 15).
Produced by Easyfun and A.G. Cook, "Backseat" features Charli and Carly trading verses about uncertainty, heartbreak and loneliness over a lush, midtempo electronic soundscape of stuttering beats and shimmering synths.
"I go to parties with strangers so I can figure it out / Run through a city at midnight to feel like a star / I want it all, even if it's fake," Charli laments, her voice distorted by Auto-Tune, while Carly bares her relationship regrets: "I'm wide awake, lyin' next to him and feel it all / I got a thirst for distraction that I can't take back."
In a heartbreaking moment of resolve, the two singers ultimately decide they're better off alone—a revelation they repeat on the track's melancholic breakdown. And while the song doesn't contain the sort of euphoric, radio-primed hook fans have come to expect from either artist, the track's raw, emotionally-charged moodiness and sugary, twinkling bridge more than make up for it.