Singer-songwriter Clairo brought viewers straight into her teenage bedroom with the slapdash video for her 2017 lo-fi breakthrough, “Pretty Girl.” The song, built on a simple keyboard riff and drum beat, is tongue-in-cheek but deep in its relationship analysis, while the video shows her in all her greasy-haired, half-awake glory. To Clairo, who was eventually named an Up Next artist by Apple Music, this sort of intimacy and vulnerability is what music is all about: “There’s no point in making a record if it isn’t personal,” she told Apple Music. As far as the sound itself, the artist, born Claire Cottrill in 1998, was exposed to a wide range of musical influences as a kid—Al Green from her dad and Cocteau Twins from her mom. By age 13, she was recording and performing covers, and eventually started playing DIY college shows near her parents’ home outside Boston. Soon after “Pretty Girl” and songs like the woozy, synth-soaked meditation “Flaming Hot Cheetos” started racking up streams, Clairo teamed up with former Vampire Weekend star Rostam, who co-produced her 2019 full-length debut, Immunity. Led by airy guitar-pop confessions “Bags” and “Sofia,” the album preserves her homespun charm while upping the indie-rock fuzz, soulful grooves, and throbbing electro beats. Through it all, Clairo’s warm, hushed vocals make it feel like she’s sharing her deepest, darkest secrets just with you.
BORNAugust 18, 1998