“BORED SO I’M GONNA DROP A SONG TOMORROW & END THE WORLD,” Charli XCX blasted on Twitter Thursday. “R U READY ANGELS?”
That same day, the pop star and collaborator par excellence had premiered a new song with Troye Sivan, titled “2099”—months after their first partnership, on “1999”—at the inaugural Go West Fest in Los Angeles, California. (In teasing the song, she also hinted at a new album to come.) Before that, there was “Spicey,” a sort of Spice Girls cover, with Hervé Pagez and Diplo, and “Blame It on Your Love,” a sort of rework of “Track 10,” the standout from Pop 2, featuring Lizzo. Bored, maybe, but certainly not boring.
Then, on Friday, “Dream Glow,” the inaugural collaboration between three members of BTS, the ne plus ultra of K-pop, and Charli XCX, debuted online. A frothy, synthetic bilingual track (they worked with Stargate, the Norwegian producers known for their work with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Carly Rae Jepsen, and others), it’s part of the soundtrack for BTS World, the band’s forthcoming video game. The game, as explained recently, sounds kind of incredible and hilarious: According to a press release quoted by Pitchfork, players take on the role of BTS’s manager and try to shepherd them toward stardom. Per Stereogum, “Dream Glow” is just the first single from the game, which comes out June 26, leaving ample time for…more fun collaborations?
Charli may have been busy with collaborations recently, but BTS hasn’t exactly been languishing in solitude. Earlier this year, the group released Map of the Soul: Persona, the lead single from which is a track featuring Halsey. But while Halsey gets second billing in the song—Stereogum, for example, described her role as a “cameo”—Charli’s pretty much on equal footing with the band; it’s her vocals that open the song and join with BTS members Jin, Jimin, and Jungkook during the chorus. Having conquered mainstream English-language pop, BTS is poised to take over the niche, Internet-y corners of pop that Charli represents.
So now, with one K-pop collaboration behind her, perhaps Charli XCX might want to consider recruiting Blackpink, the other global face of K-pop, for her next mixtape.