Charli XCX's fourth album, how i'm feeling now, is set to be released on May 15th. She's been sharing with fans the ins and outs of making the album, including sharing snippets of songs and lyrics from her phone, asking fans what they think of album decisions, and letting fans decide what she releases next. Here's what we know about the album so far, as well as what she's released from the album.
Speaking about the album's ethos, Charli says, “For me, staying positive goes hand-in-hand with being creative, and so that’s why I’ve decided that I’m going to use this isolation time to make a brand-new album from scratch.
Album cover ? ?? - Charli’s post on instagram pic.twitter.com/swVilTZe12
— CHARLI XCX UPDATES (@FckyeahCharli) April 21, 2020
“The nature of this album is gonna be very indicative of the times, just because I’m only gonna be able to use the tools that I have at my fingertips to create all music, all artwork, all videos, everything. In that sense, it’ll be very DIY.”
She's been holding weekly Zoom meetings - and you can check out the most recent one below.
She's set to have a range of collaborations on the album, including Aussie producer Lonelyspeck. She's also showcased demos from Palmistry, Sega Bodega, A.G. Cook (who's also producing the album alongside BJ Burton) and more, so it's set to be a very collaborative experience.
The artwork for each single is also a collaborative experience, with Charli commissioning three different artists to make a version of what they think the art should look like. You can check out the options below - it's exciting to see her take just as much care with the visuals as she is with the music.
Forever was the first single released from the album, and both the song and the video are really representative of the times. Everything from the single cover to snippets were shared with fans ahead of time. It's an energetic track, with the beat in particular feeling like it's about to collapse - but always staying together.
The music video was made along with fans, with fans sending in footage from both pre- and post-self-isolation times, serving as a reminder of what life was before coronavirus, and what it is now - as well as how people are continuing to enjoy themselves despite being in self-isolation.
Speaking about the video on Twitter, Charli said, "“This video is made up of your clips of the moments/people/places/things in life you wish to cherish forever…thank you so much for helping me make this video, it wouldn’t have been possible without you." It's a testament to her fans, and it's a fitting first single.
“Forever” artworks pic.twitter.com/k4GbpuJAB9
— CHARLI XCX UPDATES (@FckyeahCharli) April 9, 2020
Claws is the next taste of the album. Produced by 100 gecs' Dylan Brady, it's an electro-pop treat, and an ode to her relationship.
It's a bit happier than Forever, and it's a great love song for the now - if you're currently self-isolating with your significant other (or holding nightly Zoom sessions with them), then play them this track and share in the love.
claws ??? official artworks pic.twitter.com/9SnNsMMg5d
— CHARLI XCX UPDATES (@FckyeahCharli) April 23, 2020
I Finally Understand
I Finally Understand is the third single from the album, and takes inspiration from UK garage. The track was produced by Palmistry, with additional production from A.G. Cook and Mechatok. It's an ode to her boyfriend, and she told Zane Lowe that self-isolation has brought the pair closer - which is something many people can relate to at the moment.
“The song is basically about [how] me and my boyfriend are quarantined together during this time. I’m conscious that I’ve spoken about this a lot and I don’t want people to be like, ‘Shut up about your boyfriend.’ [But] I’m writing about what I know, and we’re quarantined together, and our relationship wasn’t in a brilliant place prior to quarantine. I’m not going to say at the end of the road, but close to it — we were living on separate sides of the country, and even though we were physically far apart, we were emotionally quite distant as well.
— Atlantic Records (@AtlanticRecords) May 7, 2020
I’m extremely lucky that [quarantine] 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. So that’s what it’s about, very emo.”
10 days till my album drops. 6 songs mixed/in process of mixing and ready for the album (thank u @geoff_swan for ur speedy and amazing work). 3 or 4 other song ideas floating around that need finishing. Ag and I decided today we would try and do 11 songs. trying to make last song ideas today/this week. will be staying up all night. ???