Icona Pop talk release of hard-edged new single Faster and 10 years of I Love It with Charli XCX

They crashed their car into the rave.

You know Icona Pop. They got this feeling on the summer day when you were gone. They crashed their car into the bridge.

Well, for their latest single, the Swedish duo have chosen instead to crash their car directly into the rave on their hard-edged new single Faster, the latest taste of their forthcoming third studio album.

We caught up with Caroline and Aino as they returned to London (the duo were once based in the capital, apparently living in a flat on Portobello Road, god knows how much that would cost today!) to chat about the new single and the 10 year celebration of I Love It with Charli XCX hitting Number 1 in the UK - yes, it really has been 10 years.

MORE: Icona Pop's Official Charts history in full

Icona Pop! Hello - how are you feeling back in London?

We're super excited to be back and to be releasing music. We have an album in the pipeline - we're generally just very excited at the moment. 

We used to live in London, did you know? We used to live on Portobello Road. We feel very at home here.

2023 feels like a very exciting year for you. Faster is the new single and...oh my god. I think it blew my head off when I first heard it. It's a drum'n'bass rave banger, a definite change for you!

We had so much fun making that one. When we went into the process of [writing the album], we said...OK, there are no rules. Let's do whatever we feel like. 

It's definitely not a typical pop song in its structure. It's, essentially, a few words and a lot of vibes. We decided to keep it like that. We've had the song for like two years, we didn't even re-do our [demo] vocals. A lot of these songs have been in the making for a long time. 

How is it revisiting songs after such a long time? Is the instinct to scrap them all and start again?

I think sometimes, when you write a song, you don't necessarily know what to do with it. We didn't know what to do with Faster when we first wrote it. We knew it was a pretty weird song, in a good way! Our whole album actually turned out pretty weird. It's perfect 

Would you say its representative of the new album you're working on?

It's going to be a mix. It's like everything is in between Faster and [Galantis collab] I Want You. We have some more pop tunes, and then some stuff that goes really far left. Even faster than Faster.

Speaking about the Galantis collaboration, I didn't realise until recently that one member of Galantis was Style Of Eve, who produced I Love It with Patrik Berger

You really did your homework! It's funny because we've known Galantis for such a long time, and it was never really the right time to collaborate until the pandemic hit, and suddenly we weren't travelling.

I don't know if this is true, but I just feel like in Stockholm, you must just walk down the road and bump into Galantis, or Max Martin, pop music is everywhere in Sweden

Yes, it is. And the music industry in Stockholm is also very small. We've been in the music industry for such a long time, I am going to bump into a Swedish person at some point, we normally see them again at a festival or on the road. 

Sweden has such a mastering of pop music, obviously with ABBA but also with people like Max Martin - I spoke to Zara Larsson a while back, and she said that music is ingrained into you when you're really young in Sweden, and Max Martin works a lot like a pop song is an equation to be solced

What's really funny is that Max and Shellback come from the heavy metal side, originally. And now they're one of the biggest pop machines in the world. It's a weird, but really good step. 

But I don't think Sweden [is the be all and end all] here in the UK, it feels like you know how to do dance music better. Each country has their own specialty. 

I Love It is also celebrating a decade since it hit Number 1 in the UK - still to this day, that is an excellent pop song

It's crazy. Even when we released it...now it feels like such a natural pop song. But when we made it, everybody [didn't want to release it]. They said it was too punk, it was too short. It wasn't the typical 'pop' pop song for that time. 

But it's so fun. And now, a lot more pop songs sound like I Love It. And that's what it's all about. Pop is such a big word.

It is funny, because it definitely was a short song back in 2013, and now TikTok has made pop songs 2 mintues and under - but with everything you and Charli XCX experienced thanks to that song...what do you remember of that time?

I remember we weren't home much. I think we came home for Christmas. We were living on planes and in cars, driving. We did three states in one day at one point - from Seattle to Portland and then San Francisco. I can remember we started with 100 people in a room, and then suddenly we were filling up venues. 

We worked that song for a really long time. It was released in Sweden before the UK or the US. People got the feeling it happened overnight, I mean, the Girls episode helped a lot. We woke up to so many texts. 

It was the first Number 1 in the UK for both you and Charli, what does that mean to you now?

We can't explain, really. I remember when we used to live her, we really wanted to release the song...but the people we were working with at the time hated it. They thought it was too sweet and weird. And then to come back here and it be Number 1...it was such a good feeling. We have so many friends here, so we could come back and afford to buy everyone a beer at the pub. 

Funnily enough, I saw on Charli's Instagram recently that she was back in the studio with [I Love It producer] Patrik Berger and Robyn - would you love to hook up with them again?

That would be fun. We love him. And now we're based back in Sweden...that's actually a really good idea. Patrik is awesome, he did the production for Dancing On My Own too, which is one of our favourite songs. We all made a super good combo. We should definitely revisit it. Leave it with us!

Faster is out now via Ultra Records. Icona Pop's new album follows later this year.

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Angry UK Chart Fan


'I Love It', their only massive hit in the UK.