Clairo Immunity FADER Label
Following the success of her lo-fi viral hit Pretty Girl in 2017, Clairo – aka 20-year-old Claire Cottrill – was both lauded as a bedroom-pop savant and rumoured to be an industry plant. While these claims had little substance, people may have been right to question her authenticity. Pretty Girl and its video bore striking similarities to the song Nun Lover by another young artist Charles de Crema (real name Charlotte Linden Ercoli), released three years before. Ercoli’s singular aesthetic seemed instrumental to early interest in Clairo.
Two years on, this origin story feels unfortunate. Immunity, Clairo’s debut album, feels honest and suggests her potential to become a star off her own back. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite hit the mark. Lead single Bags is the record’s strongest track, perfectly offsetting the downtrodden trudge of electric guitar with off-kilter synths and plinking keys that compete for attention. The resulting tension is electric. Clairo’s disaffected vocals carve a steady path through the turbulent mix and lines like, “Pardon my emotions/ I should probably keep it all to myself” seem supercharged.
Lyrically, the record marks a newfound maturity, however timid production choices let many of the songs down. Tracks like Alewife and Impossible feel too skeletal, leaving Clairo’s vocals feeling flat and listless. While previous cross-genre collaborations with artists like Danny L Harle and Rejjie Snow hinted at an experimental record from Clairo, Immunity sometimes feels middle-of-the-road, as if she’s tried to outrun her teenage affectations and overshot slightly. Bets are on that she delivers on all fronts next time.