The PC music princess drew hordes of fans to Bushwick for an exclusive party teasing her upcoming album ‘Brat’

We’ve reached the logical conclusions of poptimism, and now our girls are heading to Bushwick. Three weeks ago, Beyoncé broke the internet while attending the Luar show, Ana bag in hand. Late last week, Charli XCX arrived at the well known pop-up venue 99 Scott for a night with Boiler Room, timed in anticipation of the release of her new single “Von Dutch” from her forthcoming album, Brat. The evening, titled PARTYGIRL, was defined by a blend of pop and harder techno. Charli stans speculate that Brat will be a return to the SOPHIE-produced sound of 2018’s Pop 2, ending her “sellout” era (her words, not mine) aligned with the mainstream pop sound of 2021’s Crash. In other words, the next moment for Charli is said to be a love note to the hyperpop community that first shot her to internet stardom.

With a lineup featuring Charli among a familiar cast of frequent collaborators, including A.G. Cook and Doss, Boiler Room helped to curate a night that felt like an ode to Charli’s past few years. The event, according to Boiler Room’s communications, secured over 25 thousand RSVPs. Given that the general capacity was extremely limited, the line stretched several blocks from the doors, and my Uber dropped me off in front of a small contingent with homemade signs, requesting to be someone’s +1. While I was queuing by the press entrance, I spoke to two superfan NYU students across a metal barricade, who had arrived three hours earlier, hoping to get in. Later, I found the two at the bar, with one exclaiming that they were the last to enter before doors closed. We celebrated with Palomas.

About two hours into the event, security carved a line from the exit to the stage, and minutes later Charli made her entrance in raver-girl shades and a classic oversized hot-girl-casual t-shirt. She started her set alongside A.G. Cook, giving a preview of her new music which included not only the new album’s lead single “Von Dutch”, but rumored tracks like an uptempo eurodance track fans are calling “Spring Breakers” The set wasn’t lacking in crowd pleasers. Perhaps the peak of the night was when Charli looped the first beats of “Vroom Vroom”, drawing the crowd further into a frenzy with every repetition. VIPs like Julia Fox (who appeared during Charli’s set to debut her own new single), Addison Rae, and fashion icon Richie Shazam could be found both among the crowd and backstage. I also ran into an eclectic collection of the NYC rave scene’s weekend warriors like Linux, alongside basically every girl you’d find in the Basement studio room after 7am on a Sunday morning. PARTYGIRL’s marketing also ensured that the fraction of folks that made it in the room were the most fervent Charli fans, making moments like the “Von Dutch” debut feel almost historically important.

In a recent interview with The Face, Charli spoke about Brat and the pressures of existing as a pop star, particularly one with a forever-online following. She shares that she’s always seen herself as a celebrity somewhere between the underground and mainstream, and felt a bit too self aware to engage in modern mass stardom. Watching her onstage at PARTYGIRL, it seemed like she may be stepping past these pressures entirely. With each hair fling and dance on top of the DJ booth, she delivers such a raw performance with ease. It’s Charli baby—without pretense.