Finding intimacy through introspection with Clairo’s Sling
23-year-old American singer-songwriter Claire Cottrill, professionally known as Clairo, has returned with her sophomore album Sling. The album was co-produced by Jack Antonoff, who has worked with the likes of Taylor Swift and Lorde. Ever-growing and learning, Clairo has been posting covers and music for a decade now. After her 2019 bedroom indie-pop album Immunity, the young artist's rise to fame happened fast, and soon she had songs being platinum-certified and charting on Billboard.
With the world fervently awaiting the star's second album, Clairo replies with an almost anti-climactic one. With her almost signature sound set to the background warm melodies and emotional chords, Clairo embraces her indie roots and holds true to herself.
Straying away from her more sonically fluid debut album, Clairo grounds herself to familiar sounds for Sling, which swings from track to track effortlessly. Clairo seems to be stuck in this vacuum of her sounds, shying away from the next big step in her music.
Nothing new or astoundingly creative has come off this album. These may feel like harsh words, however this is only in comparison to the precedent Clairo has set for herself. What seemed to be lacking in instrumentals and repetitive harmonies were made up for with Clairo's lyrical feats. The writing of the songs is one factor of this album that cannot be undermined.
With 1970s country folk at its heart, Clairo creates art, perhaps not as inventive as the tracks from Immunity, but a classic sound nonetheless. With vintage piano, acoustic and electric guitars and chamber pop strings blended together seamlessly, Clairo achieves a very retro sound accompanied by lyrics from a modernistic Gen Z musician. It may be a monotonous album, but it still has multiple out tracks. The innocence contrasted with harsher realities makes "Bambi" a standout; it feels so personal while speaking to universal truths. The melancholy "Reaper" and hazy "Amoeba" are my personal favourites while "Blouse" and "Zinnias'' shine bright and fit perfectly into Clairo's niche.
Rather than music that makes you want to start screaming out the window and dancing to it, Sling brings about a more 'lay around the room on a rainy day while humming along to a tune you can't forget' kind of feel. This album feels real. Down to earth, exploring a life with highs and lows, speaking in the uncomfortable slices with ease.
Aryah Jamil is mediocre at everything except laughing at her own jokes. Tell her to stop talking at firstname.lastname@example.org