Charli XCX’s quarantine album and everything else you need to hear today

This playlist is your gui-De to the best new music.

by Frankie Dunn
15 May 2020, 11:36am

It’s here. The moment Angels worldwide have been waiting for: time to find out exactly how Charli XCX is feeling right now! It’s hard to believe that it’s been a full month since the Brit abroad vowed to create a whole album during lockdown, but then, time moves differently these days. Collaborating with producers, songwriters and other artists remotely, the popstar kept her fans in the loop every step of the way; even calling on them for feedback, lyric submissions and visuals for the project. She blessed us with a unique opportunity to watch what usually stays firmly behind the closed doors.

As the title how i’m feeling now suggests, the 11-track project is all about Charli’s emotions and how they’ve been manipulated by this enforced period of self-isolation. Featuring production from the likes of Danny L. Harle, Dijon, Dylan Brady of 100 gecs and A.G. Cook, the record spans the full genre spectrum. Yes there are party tunes, but Charli gets vulnerable too. And that’s what we love about it the most. On “enemy”, which opens this week’s playlist, she explores her trust and intimacy issues, singing: “So calm at the surface, I'm scared of nothin' / Underneath, I'm nervous / Can you reach me?”

Also out this week is Yung Lean’s seventh album Starz, a collaboration between RIMON and Denzel Curry, Slowthai with his second release of the week, Perfume Genius’s beautiful new record Set My Heart On Fire Immediately (an overreaction perhaps?) and Future’s High Off Life. There’s also a lovely tune from Michelle Blades, an elfy adventure from Japan’s NTsKi and a song about feeling horny in lockdown from Ariel.

Not available on streaming platforms but well worth checking out is Sega Bodega's Reestablishing Connection: a project made remotely with friends Lafawndah, Lapsley, Dorian Electra, Teddy and oklou that involves a cover of "Teenage Dirtbag". Go buy it! All profits will be donated to the AIM COVID-19 Crisis Fund, providing vital support to contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry.

Charli XCX