The origins of Clairo (born Claire Cottrill) hold their own modern mythos: 2017’s lo-fi bedroom pop track “Pretty Girl” went viral, and a major-label record deal with Fader/Republic followed. Then came her debut LP, Immunity, and its sardonic indie pop punctuated by jazzy instrumentation, soft-rock harmonies, and diaristic revelations. On her sophomore album, Sling, produced by Jack Antonoff in a remote and rural part of upstate New York, Clairo has mined deeper into her well of self-possessed folk. The outdoors seems to have grounded her; even moments of ornate orchestration are stripped down to their emotional core, like in the fluttery horns and xylophone of “Wade,” the herd of violins on “Just for Today” and “Management,” or their psychic opposite—the heartbreaking piano ballad intro on “Harbor,” and the campfire stopper “Reaper.” Standout first single “Blouse” features backing vocals from Lorde, and borrows a familiarly devastating chord progression (think Big Star’s “Thirteen”). Everywhere you turn on Sling, there are careful, restrained, and wise observations on the human condition.

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