Though they seem to appeal to two pretty different ends of the spectrum, the worlds of Wolf Alice
and Charli XCX
collided today with the release of Charli's remix of Wolf Alice's "Dont Delete the Kisses". While speaking to Apple's Beats 1 radio station, Wolf Alice lead singer Ellie Rowsell revealed that Charli's remix was basically happenstance, that Rowsell was looking for someone to remix the song, while Charli had listened to it and enjoyed it.
And it seems to have worked out well, at least for the two of them. Rowsell gushed about XCX to Beats 1, saying of Charli, "I just love her balls out pop music, she's a great performer and there's always this kind of excitement and thrill surrounding her. She puts fun into everything she does."
Yet while the two seem pretty content with the fruits of the collaboration, others are a bit less pleased. Even though it was only released today, the Youtube video of the track has nearly half as many dislikes as it does likes, a metric that maybe sounds good on paper, until you realize just how many people it signifies don't like the song. Complaints lodged at it range from saying that the song was good enough on its own and didn't need a remix, to gripes about XCX's heavily-autotuned vocals.
And honestly, they're all kind of right. On their own, I love both artists. Wolf Alice consistently puts out great indie-alt material, and the original recording of "Don't Delete the Kisses" is a soul-cleansing pop-rock anthem. Charli XCX's Pop 2
was one of the best releases of 2017, and she does have the mixtape and remix game down pat, but there was just a big swing and a miss here. The production in the remix takes out the most bombastic parts of the original's instrumentation, leaving the track feeling a bit flat. On top of it, Charli's overly-auto tuned vocals are just, well, bad. I actually believe autotune can be used with artistic effect in certain instances but this just isn't one them. In struggling to find a better way to describe how the remix sounds, I'm just going to have to say that it sounds like a neutered version of the original, missing the bite and passion that made it so good in the first place.
Either way, my love for both of these artists is not diminished, and I wouldn't even write off seeing them trying to work again in the future. It's just that in this case, Charli XCX and Wolf Alice sound as distant from each other as their respective images might suggest.