Since the release of her 2022 album Crash, Charli XCX has been focused on creating a body of work that reflects the musical world she was brought up in. In the lead-up to her new album Brat, the British singer has been teasing a return to her personal roots in the club world, partially evidenced by lead single “Von Dutch.” With her sixth full-length LP, XCX has succeeded in her mission.

Brat is a marked sonic shift from Crash, where XCX took a mainstream pop tack similar to that of her 2014 sophomore album Sucker. In this transition back into a more familiar sound in the vein of her mixtapes Number 1 Angel and Pop 2, she’s found where she’s most comfortable both on an artistic and celebrity level, even if some of the general public might be confused by it.

“I could probably operate in a more commercial world,” she told British GQ last month. “Sometimes I tempt myself with going there, but I think the problem is my fanbase knows that that’s not who I am, so they kind of smell a rat, and they’re like, ‘This is inauthentic.’ But then I think that sometimes puts me in this position where the masses are like, ‘What the f**k is this?’”

“But I would in no way be as happy, creatively satisfied or, honestly, as good as some of the people who are operating on a hugely commercial level, because maybe I’m just not built for it,” she added.