The music industry has obviously been thrown into a state of flux ever since the coronavirus lockdown came into affect across most of the world. With venues ordered to shut and musicians forced out of their normally creative spaces, the music world has responded in droves to find new and modern solutions to their lack of creative outlets. But while many have spent the last few weeks live streaming and collaborating via Zoom, Charli XCX took on the daunting task of writing, recording and releasing a whole album while under lockdown. And thirty-nine days since she made that announcement, she has unveiled her fourth full-length 'how i'm feeling now', a boundary-pushing extravaganza of bonkers ideas.
It feels that from the very beginning, Charli was hoping people wouldn't see this release as just a gimmick or publicity stunt in any way, which shows just how serious she has been about making this record work in every way possible. Bringing in regular collaborators such as A. G. Cook, BJ Burton, Danny L Harle and Palmistry to supply the production, 'how i'm feeling now' feels more like the older and odder Charli XCX that we knew back in the day. With its cataclysmic beats and adventurous tendencies into the glossy PC Music aesthetic, this new collection is less of the radio-friendly direction she took on 'Charli' and more focused towards a sound that brings her the most excitement.
While it doesn't have the same cohesive nature as some of her more recent works, 'how i'm feeling now' plays as more of an experiment into how quickly an artist can force themselves to be creative without external stimuli. The result is a fresh and exciting release that shows she doesn't need to leave the house to be the experimental and ever-evolving artist she is.