Charli XCX’s 2020 album How I’m Feeling Now was a completely unique prospect. Executive produced by Charli, A. G. Cook and BJ Burton and written, recorded and released in isolation due to the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the album is completely indicative of the times; finding Charli using whatever tools she has at her disposal during the record’s 6-week creative period.
The album invited collaboration in a new way, welcoming fans to give feedback on every aspect of the record; from contributing to videos, to song writing choices, to single selection and more. This approach resulted in an album that’s completely DIY in essence, but still feels inherently daring, introspective, and unpredictable.
Across the duration of the album’s 11 tracks, Charli explored a multitude of human feelings, brought into new context thanks to lockdown. The need for hedonism and human interaction courses through the album, as exhibited on the sparse, Dijon-produced “pink diamond” and the euphoric “anthems”, in which Charli unleashes all her nervous energy over an explosive beat from Danny L. Harle and Dylan Brady. The track was also in-part written by Charli’s fans, thanks to a shared writing session on Instagram live hosted by Charli.
A record that traverses the full spectrum of emotions in lockdown, ‘how i’m feeling now’ also showcases the nuances of falling in love all over again via glistening first single “forever”, the progressive rap of “claws” or the hyperactive garage-pop of “i finally understand”. The album’s most tender moments shine too, with Charli celebrating letting her guard down on the infectiously downtempo “enemy”, or dealing with internal self-doubt and confusing emotions on the bubbling “detonate”.