Charli XCX Releases DIY Lockdown Album

With the pandemic still in full swing, many artists have been sharing sneak peeks of their lives in lockdown. Every day we see interviews conducted in self-isolation, celebrities hosting Zoom meetings, and live videos shot from the luxurious homes of the rich and famous. Stars are going the extra mile to connect with fans in creative ways during this uncertain time in all of our lives, and none seem to showcase it quite as well as Charli XCX.
With California being in strict lockdown, the renowned pop star used the video chat platform Zoom to interact with 1000 Angels (her endearing nickname for her fanbase) on April 6. During this meeting, Charli shared her plans for releasing an album that she would craft entirely in quarantine, straight from her Los Angeles home studio.
Charli XCX gave herself a particularly pressing deadline for the album—a mere five-and-a-half weeks to sculpt it from start to finish. The artist shared that her goal was to make the album authentic and indicative of the anxiety-ridden time the world is currently in. What better way of doing this than having only 38 days to produce her fourth studio album entirely from her own home?
Fans had already flocked to be among the first to hear this spontaneous album when it dropped on May 15. Much of the album is based around Charli’s relationship with her current boyfriend, Huck Kwong.  The pair usually live across the country from each other, with Charli residing in LA and Kwong living in New York. However, the couple was faced with the reality of being quarantined together and seeing a lot more of each other than ever before.
Kwong was only a matter of feet away from Charli for the duration of her songwriting and recording. Charli shared her feelings on this shift in dynamic in her song “7 Years” by saying, “Without the holy matrimony, I’m wife/ We went from distant to inseparable types/ Oh yeah, it’s really, really, really, really nice.” The heartfelt track “Claws” also goes the extra step to share her appreciation of her partner.
While being locked up with a romantic partner is relatable to many people across the nation, love isn’t the only feeling people are experiencing during this global shutdown. Charli knows this and spends time in her album to express the feelings of frustration, anxiety, and loneliness that she and many others are facing. The title she gave her album, How I’m Feeling Now, is very representative of this: Charli’s aim was to get all of her emotions out on the table—the good, the bad, and the ugly. The album title acts as a self check-in on how she’s coping with the newfound loneliness of quarantine.
The album itself reads like a rollercoaster ride. Charli’s fast-paced, loudest tracks show the most pent-up aggression and sadness, highlighting just how stressful and disorientating the lockdown can be. “Anthems” does an excellent job of representing the constant inner struggle of dealing with social deprivation.
Regarding the heart-wrenching “Anthems,” Charli said it best:  “I had a moment one night during lockdown where I was like, ‘I just want to go out.‘ I mean, it feels so stupid and dumb to say, and it’s obviously not a priority in the world, but sometimes I just feel like I want to go out, blow off some steam, get f**ked up, do a lot of bad things and wake up feeling terrible. This song is about missing those nights.” To add an extra layer of authenticity to this hectic, frustration-fueled track, Charli co-wrote the second verse with her fans on Instagram.
Charli’s music is resonating with fans all over. Her lyrics showcase what everyone is going through during this bizarre time in our lives. Going from an iconic line in “Anthems” stating, “I’m so bored, what/Wake up late and eat some cereal” to more emotional and thought-provoking numbers, the relatability of her new works is unbeatable. Her songs jump from one vibrant emotion to another, representing the inner struggle so many of us can sympathize with as we continue to learn to adapt to such a dramatic change in lifestyle.
This experimental collection between Charli and executive producers A. G. Cook and BJ Burton is a must-download for anyone looking to get in their feels during quarantine. The album is critically well-received, receiving a perfect 5-star rating from music critic Neil McCormick in his review for The Daily Telegraph.
The album features 11 strong, unique tracks guaranteed to get your head nodding and heart racing, so go check out this “DIY” project as soon as possible!

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