Being a sucker for female duets, news of the collaboration was exciting enough on its own. Throw in a bondage car, a literal ring of fire and some artificial rain to dance beneath, though, and we arrive at one of our new favourite music videos.
We first see Charli and Christine tied to an ugly white Peugeot (no idea if it's actually a Peugeot). Bound by ropes and lit only by the flash of ominous floodlights, they sing: "I feel so unstable, fucking hate these people, how they're making me feel, lately, they're making me weird baby." It's wild and sexy and angsty and will make you feel a lot of things. You may indeed feel a little unstable but there's no hate here. Instead there's just an overwhelming adoration for the two people on screen. Take note of that sultry little shiver that wriggles through your body at the sight and sound of it. I hereby crown "Gone" the Sexy Summer Video and invite you to watch it, then watch it again, and rejoin me on the other side...
Here are the important things to note:
The song bangs on its own
You know when you hit play on a song and are unsure of how you'll feel at the end of it? I had that with "Gone". Clearly, I should've known better because by the time you get to the end of the first chorus you can't help but feel exhilarated. And a little turned on.
The aesthetic is perfect
I imagine this to be the vibe that Miley Cyrus wanted for "Wrecking Ball" before she ended up riding a literal wrecking ball for a few minutes. We've got real t.A.T.u "All The Things She Said" meets Britney Spears and Madonna "Me Against The Music" vibes. But with a wind machine and liberating choreography.
Charli XCX is crushing these duets
The track, which was written with Christine and the Queens, comes after another smart collaboration with everyone's favourite rising star, Lizzo.
There's important meaning behind the lyrics
Charli posted the song's announcement on Instagram and explained in the caption: "This song is about those situations where you are surrounded by loads of people but feel so isolated and alone. I feel like that a lot of the time in social situations. I never know what to do with myself, I feel so insecure and out of place and lost. I feel like a lot of people I know get those feelings."
She added: "When it comes to me, I’ll either party through it and try to escape my feelings or I will totally cave in. The emotions that come alongside anxiety are so huge and crippling. This song is about breaking down but it’s also about breaking free. It feels like one big external scream. Both this song and video are a huge release of energy for me. When I hear it and when I dance to it I feel truly euphoric and alive, like I’m pushing out all the bad feelings from my brain. Its like I’m channeling all my anger and frustration (and sometimes sadness) into dancing it all away."
It's been a long time since anyone was able to pull off the fake rain thing
Remember that period circa George Sampson on Britain's Got Talent when performers were going heavy on the 'watch me dance in the rain' thing? It was dragged back from 1995 when Take That made it moody and sultry in "Back For Good" and then Usher jumped aboard for "U Got It Bad" in 2001. From there it all got a bit boring and predictable. Angst = Justin Timberlake walking through the rain singing "Cry Me A River". But here, pouring down on Christine and Charli as they crouch on top of a car, singing at each other in equal parts euphoria and agony, it's far from boring my friends.