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Charli XCX releases ‘How I’m Feeling Now,’ a quarantine album

Techno-pop superstar, Charli XCX, is changing the game while social distancing. Originally announced on April 6, the fully made-at-home album has been released according to schedule.

How I’m Feeling Now was announced via Zoom meeting in full quarantine fashion. “I’ve decided that I will make a brand-new album during this quarantine time,” she said in the fan joined meeting. “It’ll be very DIY — I’ll make it live from scratch, very indicative of the times we’re in.”

Throughout the quarantine, Charli relied on fans to help create the content of what became her fourth album. The first single, “Forever” was released on April 17, under two weeks after the album announcement.

The video for “Forever” was created using fan submitted videos with the prompts “your favorite party you want to remember forever” and “a funny thing your pet did.” Fans were able to keep up with the status of new music and single development during the quarantine through weekly Zoom meetings with the artist and Instagram live videos.

“Going live on insta now, need ur help on some verse lyrics,” she tweeted one mid-April evening. Later she shared the results, noting that these would probably make the album: “Go online shopping / it’s so exhausting / I’m so uninspired / I just wanna breathe.”

According to an interview with The Vulture, Charli expresses the stress of creating a DIY album in such a small timeframe. Filming for the album’s visuals also included installing a green screen in her basement.

Although, a perk of working from home is not dealing with the pressures of the music industry. The “Claws” singer shared that she enjoyed not having to take any opinions on her new music.

I’m lucky I am very self-sufficient, and a lot of my collaborators are the same,” she says. “We need to be left alone to feel the most creative. I don’t enjoy taking professional people’s opinions,” she added. “The fact that I’m not getting them right now is just great.

Throughout the journey, Charli was quarantined with her boyfriend Huck Kwong who filmed the video above. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Charli admitted that this time together saved their relationship.

“You know, we were, I’m not going to say like at the end of the road, but close to it, we were living on separate sides of the country even though we were physically far apart, we were emotionally quite distant as well. And this time period, I’m extremely lucky that it has brought us physically close together because now we’re living in the same house but also emotionally, and I finally understand that this person is somebody who I can trust with my life and I will have my security and protection at the front point of their heart no matter what.”

She has grown acclimated to recording verses about Kwong knowing he’s sitting in the next room. “It makes me feel self-conscious sometimes,” she says, “but I’m okay with the fact that he can probably hear me yelling into a microphone, sounding crazy.” “My therapist said I hate myself really bad / You tell me it’s fine,” she sings in a demo of “I Finally Understand.”

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