As we approach the winter solstice and our circadian rhythms begin to adopt the sun’s pre-5 p.m. bedtime, it’s easy to fall into a hibernation-like state soundtracked by the meandering tunes of coffee shop playlists, abominably premature Christmas music, and Jack Johnson.
Don’t. It’s week EIGHT, people — the Thursday of the quarter system. Second (and third) rounds of midterms and prep for finals abound. That’s why you should let the voice of Uma Thurman (sampled from “Pulp Fiction”) shake you from your slump with the opening line of “Trophy” by Charli XCX: “I wanna win / I want that trophy.”
“Trophy” hails from Charli’s groundbreaking 2016 “Vroom Vroom” EP, in which she establishes herself as no longer “that ‘Boom Clap’ girl,” but as a budding leader in intelligent and experimental pop music. It’s easy to hear the touch of Grammy-nominated producer and Charli’s frequent collaborator SOPHIE in the hook, a demonic beat that hits just as palpably in the stomach as in the ears.
The production on this song orders you to squeeze into skin-tight PVC, put on your chunkiest black heels, and stomp all over the necks of your enemies. SOPHIE’s penchant for songs that fuse the grating and the symphonic plays well into Charli’s strengths, and together they make a sweet yet deadly pop track.
As the song continues, Charli’s bratty British vocals announce her arrival into the experimental pop scene with reckless abandon, vacating all semblance of melody until the pre-hook. Straightforward lyrics like “B---- I’m here to f--- you up” and “All the girls, round the world / now we in control,” are a battle cry. They infuse listeners with the confidence not just to take up space in a world that constantly pushes conformity, but lay their claim on their bodies, ambitions, and expression.
“Trophy” is a song that provides a blunt message, and the hard-hitting beat is universal in its appeal. Play it for your friends in the car, for partakers at your next party, and for your family around the table this holiday season (just kidding, probably don’t do that). Most of all, play it for yourself and relish in your resulting power trip.
Reach Photo Editor Lydia Ely at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @lydiaellene
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