I Love It : Icona Pop featuring Charli XCX
I threw your shit into a bag and shoved it down the stairs
I crashed my car into the bridge – I don’t care !
Trashy electro bubblegum pop of the very finest kind. And I’ll tell you why. It was April 2012 and my sister was turning 40. One of those moments when you realise that a large number of years have passed by and that young baby who was born in the 1970s was now a grown woman with three kids – which meant I was officially middle-aged. Age ain’t nothing but a number they say – and they’re right – the inside of my head feels largely the same as when I was 25, but boy some things make you stop short and gulp.
Rebecca and Alan
Rebecca’s dad-in-love (if not in blood or law) the rather wonderful Alan Sully had booked my band The Brighton Beach Boys to perform at this event, in The Fishermen’s Club in Eastbourne – eastern Eastbourne, somewhere beachside. I’ll save the band moment for a later post – but just to say that it all went down very well, and remains the only time that my Mum ever saw the Brighton Beach Boys play live. But for another day. The band packed up their instruments and gear and drove back to Brighton, leaving Jenny and I to celebrate with the family and friends. Mum had come with Darren her oldest and dearest friend, both pushing 80, the youngest people there weren’t even 10. Alan was there with his bowling club mates, Becky’s friends were social workers and teachers. Mollie, Becky’s oldest daughter was 15, Ellie was 13 and William was 9. I think. There were sausages on sticks, cheese sandwiches, a huge cake and lots of drink. Lots of drink. We would eventually get the train back to Brighton so no designated driver.
Rebecca was born in Hailsham East Sussex on 29 April 1972 almost exactly two months after her dad John Daignault was kicked out by Mum. She wouldn’t get to meet him until she was in her 30s. Born in the midst of a dysfunctional family storm that lasted for at least the first decade of her life, she grew up largely with Mum. I left home in 1975 at 18 years old, but had spent much of the previous two years in Kingston nr Lewes with the Ryle family. Paul left home, or was kicked out by Mum, the same year. Andrew stayed until he too was 18 four years later, then left for college. So Becky’s prime relationship was always with her Mum. They bicker, they fight, but they are close – perhaps too close at times. When Mum met Alan and married him in 1987 her and Rebecca moved into Alan’s house in Polegate by the railway station and Becky called Alan ‘dad’ from then on, and he treated her as his daughter. Although that marriage also didn’t last a lifetime Alan always kept true to his word and looked after Becky, and this birthday was one of his finest hours. He proudly paid for everything, and didn’t impose his will on anyone – as far as I know! I am 15 years older than Bex and have always felt protective of her, although she never appeared to need protection to be honest. She has ploughed her own furrow through life and is a strong, versatile, funny and warm woman, a great mother and a totally supportive and loving sister. I love her to bits. We don’t see that much of each other, but I don’t think we’ve ever really had a seriously cross word. there’s the shared history of dealing with Mum of course which we all have, but Andrew and I occasionally fight, and Paul and I have had some legendary fights. Becky and I – never. Always aligned somehow.
Proud Mum and her daughters : Mollie, Rebecca, Ellie
So we drank and ate, admired the cake and drank some more. The kids were dancing but the adults mooched around the edges. And then this song dropped. A churning plumb drop of electronic bass and a thumping 4×4 drumbeat with fierce young ladies chanting in punk pop rant above it. “I don’t CARE : I LOVE IT”. The room became instantly transformed into a bouncing melee of mental dancing – young, old, friends, foes, people who didn’t dance and people who absolutely DID. It was a moment. Mollie and Ellie were drunk ravers by now and raised the bar on the dance floor. What was really great was the Everyone loved this song. Half an hour later Rebecca was in her absolute element and took the party and the dancefloor by the throat. I have never ever seen her so drunk as that night. It was glorious – like performance art, she strutted, twirled, span around and around, made shapes and poses, flung her head back, pointed at the sky and ruled. We howled. She loved it and so did we. A memorable event of a night, and yes there are pictures, but to protect the sister who needs no protection I will only post the one below. There are others…
can I kick it
I suspect this song has been responsible for quite a few moments, at weddings, birthdays, clubs and raves. It’s quite simply a stonker. In a perfect story, my two teenage nieces would have shouted the line
you’re from the seventies but I’m a nineties bitch
at me, their aged uncle Ralph who is indeed from the seventies, but given their ages they scarcely merit the 90s bitch claim. Ah well they probably sang it at me and their Mum anyway !
Written by Charlotte Aitchison when she was a relatively experienced songwriter at the age of 19 (having started public performance aged 14 encouraged by her parents), she didn’t think I Love It would suit her style at the time (2011). It was picked up by Swedish producer Patrick Berger who’d previously worked with Robyn on her influential dance record Body Talk Pt 1 and in particular Dancing On My Own. Swedish producers currently rule the world of pop on both sides of the Atlantic – notably Max Martin (Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry) and Tove Lo who also worked with the Swedish band Icona Pop. Icona Pop were formed in 2009 by Stockholm teens Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo, they hit the jackpot with Charlie XCX‘s “I Love It” on which Charlie was a featured artist. Although the song was released in the US in 2012 it didn’t reach the UK charts until 2013.
It is cheesy trashy irresistible fist-pumping pop of the finest lowest-common-denominator kind, a call to arms to unburden yourself of any conformist instincts for the duration of its 2 minutes and 37 seconds and thus takes its place in the great canon of perfect pop. It’s a destroyer of the generation gap. It’s a fucking classic. Make sure the DJ plays it at your party.