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Date TimeAugust 04, 2019
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Clairo: Immunity review – a winning debut
Virality’s a fickle mistress, as Massachusetts singer-songwriter Claire Cottrill discovered last year. A viral hit recorded in her bedroom – Pretty Girl – sent her soaring on YouTube’s algorithm, but the crash came soon after. Cottrill’s father is a marketing executive; her record deal was secured through his contacts. And so, whispers began bubbling up from the cesspit depths of Reddit that she was an “industry plant”. You don’t have to come down on either side of the authentic/fake binary – it’s important to follow the money and influence, but also to remember that good music can come from anywhere. And her winning debut ranges intriguingly beyond wistful bedroom pop (Pretty Girl has been shaken off). North feels like early Beck, grungy guitar with an old-school hip-hop bump, while Sofia pairs Strokes guitar with Stereolab-style ironic Eurodisco and Impossible offers intimate confessions over baroque-pop harpsichord and shunting beats.
It’s all tied together by Cottrill’s sleepy-but-smart delivery, creeping in on a cloud of reverb like a vaporwave Juliana Hatfield. The closer, I Wouldn’t Ask You, shifts phase halfway through to become a psychy, sun-kissed, trip-hop epic, suggesting Clairo’s future ambitions. She won’t be, and shouldn’t be, immune to critique, but she’s certainly strong enough to weather it.

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