published: 23 /
Intimate but frank and socially conscious second album from American singer-songwriter Clairo
The American singer-songwriter Clairo (Claire Cottrill), already regarded in the USA and Canada as one of Generation Z’s most promising new stars, has released her latest album ‘Sling’, the follow-up to her 2019 debut ‘Immunity.’ Now 22, Clairo started her career in her teens, performing and posting her music online, with her single ‘Pretty Girl’, its video made on a laptop, achieving over 75 million YouTube viewings.
Arranged by one of contemporary pop’s best regarded musicians and producers, Bleachers' singer Jack Antonoff, this new collection resonates to Clairo’s evocative, trenchant vocals, as she tackles a range of difficult issues including social anxiety in ‘Amoeba’, rampant sexism in the music business in the only released single so far, ‘Blouse, on which Lorde provides backing vocals, and mental health and self-harm in ‘Just For Today’, all with a deftness of touch. This second album, inspired by her time at the family home in Atlanta during the pandemic, sees her move away from indie pop, adding new elements to her musical repertoire and showcasing her abilities as a songwriter, the opener ‘Bambi’ really setting the scene with its gentle saxophone and flute accompaniment and melodious harmonies.
Highlights of the thirteen-track collection include: the catchy pop song ‘Amoeba’ with its upbeat percussion; the only instrumental the joyful track ‘Joanie’ for her adopted rescue puppy, a musical reflection of the energy levels of her Chow Chow-Pyrenees as she bounds through the day into a pleasant exhaustion; the bluesy ‘Reaper’ with its unapologetic lyrics – “I’ll spare you pain, I can feel my shame creep through the floor/I can’t fuck it up if it’s not there at all”; and the dynamic closer ‘Management’ with its swirling orchestra, escalating tempo and its defiant exultation: “And just when I start to think it’s ended/Another demand commences/I’m doing it for my future self/The one who needs more attention.”
A light, but intimate journey through emotional themes, enhanced by tender but frank lyrics and colourful imagery, Clairo's ‘Sling’ album should help attract new admirers to this talented musician in the UK and Europe, too.
Just For Today
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