Brow Beat

Charli XCX Did a Punk Rock Cover of “Shake It Off,” and It Works Better Than You’d Think

Charl XCX

Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images for MTV

The music of Charli XCX tends to derive its energy from the collision of punk and pop, so it makes sense that for the singer-songwriter’s BBC Live Lounge performance this week, the 22-year-old decided to redo Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” as if it were a long lost single from the Ramones.

Replacing the self-proclaimed “sick beat” of the original with pounding drums, a Peter Hook-style driving bass line, and lots of lots of shouts of “Hey!” the new version is more successful than you might expect, bringing more swagger and less self-deprecation. I’ll stick to the original—preferably as accompanied by this aerobics video—but this new version is perfect for those who prefer their Taylor Swift singles delivered with a snarl.

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