Marina and the Diamonds and Charli XCX team up for duet, tour

Pop fans looking for an experience slightly edgier than KIIS-FM's annual Wango Tango concert -- which is to bring Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and a host of other Top 40 types to Home Depot Center on Saturday -- should make their way that evening to the Shrine Expo Hall, where Marina and the Diamonds are scheduled to play alongside Charli XCX.

Both U.K. acts deliver the sleek beats and sharp hooks required of great pop right now. Marina and the Diamonds (led by singer Marina Diamandis) even worked with Dr. Luke for several tracks on last year's "Electra Heart" -- including "How to Be a Heartbreaker," which recently received the "Glee" treatment.

But inside those shiny-happy surfaces, Diamandis and Charli XCX smuggle dark wisdom about love and its costs. "I refuse to hide in the page of the story," Charli XCX sings mere moments into her just-released debut, "True Romance," "I come out the box, I won't say I'm sorry." It's a bold self-assurance you hear too in "I Love It," the pummeling Icona Pop hit she co-wrote. (That Swedish duo, as it happens, is on the Wango Tango bill.)

Last week, the two singers unleashed a typically lacerating duet, "Just Desserts," shortly before launching the joint North American tour that reaches L.A. on Saturday. Listen to it below.


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