Though it was released barely a year after her debut EP, Clairo’s debut album, Immunity, demonstrates a great leap in maturity. Immunity replaces diary’s wry lyrics and bedroom production with sophisticated storytelling and enigmatic soundscapes. This coming Sunday, August 11th, Clairo will open for Khalid at the Wells Fargo Center. Later this fall, Clairo will head out on a headlining tour. Clairo will bring Immunity to Union Transfer on Thursday, November 7th with Beadadoobe and Hello Yello.
Clairo, real name Claim Cottrill, first gained the world’s attention with “Pretty Girl” and its photo booth video. The song was intended for a minimally distributed compilation cassette, but spread like wildfire on the internet. It highlights Cottrill’s coy writing and quirky, homemade production. The video gained over one million views in just one week. This led Cottrill to drop out of Syracuse University and pursue music full time. Cottrill went on to collaborate with Danny L Harle of PC Music, S.G. Lewis, and Cuco. The diary 001 EP came out in May 2018 and built upon the oddball pop of “Pretty Girl”.
Immunity, which was released last Friday, was made in partnership with Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend. Rostam’s production style suits Cottrill better than the sugary pop she was hinting at on diary 001. The songs on Immunity are more spacious and interesting, giving Cottrill’s stories a worthy backdrop. The album is a gorgeous and tender document of a 20 something coming to terms with their sexuality and the world around them.
“Bags”, the album’s first single, reintroduces Clairo as a twinkling, shoegaze-like, songwriter. She describes the deterioration of a relationship with simple vocals that allow for the emotional weight of her words to take center stage. On “Bags” and across the album, Danielle Haim contributes lively and supportive drums. A magically not-cheesy children’s choir appears throughout as well. “Closer To You” sees Cottrill drenching her voice in Toro Y Moi-inspired vocoder and Rostam crafting an icy, synth-filled landscape for Clairo to express her desires.
Cottrill’s maturity is on full display on “White Flags”, which sees the 20-year-old reaching for peace between her and her ex. The album’s closing track, “I wouldn’t ask you”, sounds like gentle waves of yearning and sadness. Then, about halfway through its six-minute run-time, the waves retreat to the sea and return as a bright rush of optimism. As stands facing the rest of her twenties, Cottrill plows ahead, knowing that if she made it through her past, she can survive her future.
Listen to Immunity below. Clairo will play Philly on Sunday with Khalid and in November as part of her headlining tour. Find tickets and more information for both shows on the XPN concert calendar.
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