Charli XCX’s latest album “How I’m Feeling Low” is something you should give a listen. Why? Well, first off, she made it in just five weeks. It lasts just 37 minutes and is the only album to be released from a big artist during the lockdown.
Charli announced the release in April. Promising it to come out in May. “It’s going to be a real DIY thing. I don’t have anything prepared for it, I’m working completely from scratch. Just like many of us do during current times,” – she said to her fans online. So she did – she made it in a little more than five weeks – wrote it, recorded and produce, all in complete isolation.
She may have set an ambitious deadline for herself, but the album is here and is good. With all its little imperfections so common to Lo-Fi, DIY releases. It’s innovative and experimental too, not stacked up with features from stars you’d expect an artist like Charli XCX to have on her regular release.
Music producers A.G. Cook and BJ Burton, as well as country singer Dylan Brady, have promised to join the work on the album.
During self-isolation, Charli XCX actively entertains fans on her Instagram. She broadcasts live, inviting great musicians, and also plays her own music on camera.
Despite her creative freedom and experimental sound, Charli XCX has always remained a pop star and made pop music – in a way, the dream of becoming Britney Spears never left her. “Sometimes I ask myself why I’m not super popular,” the singer frankly asks in a recent interview with Pitchfork. Being a pop star still carries with it pressure, the audience has expectations of what kind of success you should achieve. Why are you not in the first lines of the charts? Why don’t you collect stadiums? Why don’t my friends know about you? The idea that outstanding creativity is accompanied by outstanding – and quantifiable – success pervades the modern world. A label that calls for commercial advancements doesn’t lighten the burden either.
This has led to doubt and anxiety, which Charlie speaks openly about, both publicly and in the lyrics – her work often reveals a portrait of a lost and yearning person. At the same time, as is often the case with outstanding pop musicians, Charli XCX was noticed and appreciated by the LGBT community before anyone else. In a review of her new album, Pitchfork correctly notes that this is also due to the fact that many of her songs convey a piercing sense of innocence and alienation – things that are well known to the queer community. It seems that in the end, her family helped the singer to cope with doubts and anxiety – with which the label, the media, and even the fans who wanted fame were not very helpful.