Futuristic young pop icons, Charli XCX and Troye Sivan, are bringing 90s realness to our current era with their collaborative new song “1999.” Evoking the 90s, “1999” debuts with The Matrix-inspired art: Troye and Charli channel the franchise’s main leads, Neo and Trinity, by wearing the iconic sunglasses and black trenchcoats from the 1999 blockbuster while posing in front of a Nickelodeon slime green background. “1999” embodies the time period, without overdoing it or making a cliche track. From references to Britney Spears, MTV, Michael Jackson, teen heartthrobs, and several other 90s trademarks, the essence of the time period is perfectly encapsulated and preserved throughout the catchy song. Charli and Troye are able to authentically transport the listener back to 1999, despite being only 7 and 4 respectively at that time. The song could easily be added to a throwback playlist and not seem out of place.
Her newest release since a drop of 2 songs and a number of remixes earlier this summer, the track opens with Charli’s signature brit-pop beats. She then begins to reminisce back in time. She laments the time before social media and the easiness of having no responsibilities. Using references like “Best friends, all night, no phone” to stir up nostalgia, she once again transforms bubblegum pop into her own genre. Troye’s voice works amazingly well with hers, totally bypassing any one voice overtaking the track. The two voices evoke fun and a want for simpler times. Overall, it’s a stellar collaboration from the two.
Image via Rolling Stone
Charli first debuted “1999” at a small listening party for fans in the summer. After receiving feedback from fans, she reworked the track produced by the pop heavy-hitter Max Martin, responsible for Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Katy Perry hits, to a final version produced by Oscar Holter. To include more 90s references, she changed lyrics like: “I just wanna go back to when I was alive” to “I just wanna go back, sing ‘hit me baby one more time.'” She then recruited another new inventive face in pop, Troye Sivan, fresh off of the success of his latest album, Bloom, to feature on her newest track. According to a recent Noisey interview, there is also a music video in the works.
Image via Dazed
Both Charli and Troye are helping to craft a more inclusive, accepting future of pop music. Troye sings about his experiences of falling in and out of love on his multiple EPs and albums. He also has featured LGBTQ+ couples in his music videos, further promoting representation. Charli XCX has crafted a community of friendship and collaborative opportunities for many queer artists. On her critically-acclaimed Pop 2 record, Charli features Pablo Vittar, a Brazilian drag queen, excellent queer artists Dorian Electra and Mykki Blanco, and trans popstar Kim Petras. By using their platform to help others’ build theirs, Charli XCX and Troye Sivan are helping to promote and increase LGBTQ+ pop artists. Hopefully, these artists can serve as inspiration and as critical role models for anyone who needs them.
Clearly, these two have just started redefining the meaning of pop perfection, and it’s a wanted change.
Give “1999” a listen here, your ears will thank you.
Featured Image via Rolling Stone