Charli XCX released her last album, the half-self-titled Charli, last September. Though she’s often prolific, whether in output under her own name or with frequent collaborations, it still wouldn’t have seemed likely that we’d be getting a new Charli XCX album so soon. (Though given that Charli was one of the best albums of 2019, it goes without saying that new Charli music is certainly welcome anytime.) But several weeks ago everyone’s plans for the year got irrevocably changed as most of us entered lockdown amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Charli first started addressing the situation via quarantine diaries, admitting it’s difficult for a busy, self-professed workaholic like herself to operate normally under our new circumstances. So she found a solution: She’d make a whole new album while in quarantine.
Of course, a lot of artists are probably aiming to do the same, and we’ve already entered the deluge of pandemic-themed songs. But Charli actually announced the album earlier this week. It’s called How I’m Feeling Now, it’s supposed to be out 5/15, and she’ll take input from fans as she makes it in real time. “I’m going to basically be making it live from scratch — there are a couple ideas in the works, but basically I’m starting from nothing,” she explained in a Zoom session that day. She’s producing it alongside A.G. Cook and BJ Burton.
Since this whole thing is moving along quickly and seemingly as-it-happens, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Charli’s announcement was quickly followed by her teasing a new song called “Forever.” She just premiered it on Annie Mac’s BBC show (though Mac herself is out) — which, as far as I can tell, marks the proper beginning of the first rollout for the first quarantine album from one of our big indie stars. Check it out below.