For Fans Of: Billie Eilish, Rex Orange County, Mac DeMarco
20-year-old Claire Cottrill AKA Clairo, from Boston has successfully made the transition from bedroom DJ to acclaimed artist. While being lyrically inspired by Frankie Cosmos and Norah Jones, she also incorporates minimalist lo-fi beats to create her airy DIY pop tunes.
At 13 years old she began recording her first songs on her phone, later filming Maroon 5 covers using her webcam. She soon moved on from hiding her talent in the dimensions of her small phone storage and publicly shared them on SoundCloud and Bandcamp throughout high school. She would post originals, covers and remixes under the developing guise of Clairo or DJ Baby Benz, armed with just an acoustic guitar and second-hand drum machine, exploring the ranges of pop and electronica.
But it was her YouTube channel that earnt her the public status she has today. Her original track ‘Pretty Girl’, which was posted on 4th August 2017 unexpectedly went viral, now having over 37 million views. The low quality, webcam style video shows Clairo flaunting her natural looks, contrasting with the Instagram-perfected facade many girls her age put on.
The video descriptions reads “The reason I made this music video was to actually help myself. On the day I made this, my hair was greasy, my skin was bad, I had nothing to wear, and I didn’t want to leave bed. I had just woken up in this video and you can definitely tell (lol) I felt really ugly but realized that it’s perfectly okay to feel that way/have those types of days. […] it’s okay to have flaws and it’s okay to embrace them and it’s okay to be silly and stupid. You all might already know this, but I’m happy that I know this now”.
In May 2018, she released her debut EP diary 001 via FADER and includes ‘Pretty Girl’, ‘Flaming Hot Cheetos’ and ‘4EVER’. Pitchfork rated it 7/10, saying “diary 001 exhibits the kind of subtle charms that only arise after years of careful labor […] She has worked hard to make it sound this easy.”
Clairo has continued to ride this high with the release of her debut album Immunity, which shows her take her sound from underground DIY to established singer-songwriter. It was produced by Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend, Charli XCX, Frank Ocean) and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Weezer, Tame Impala), there’s a very clear development as she touches upon new genres from garage rock to mellow hiphop. It’s a transition Pitchfork complemented, stating “the effort sounds effortless” as they rated Immunity an 8/10. NME agreed, scoring it 5/5 and The Quietus declared her “obvious gift for melody [is] still wonderfully intact”.
She’s allowed her intimate songs to creep out from the confides of her bedroom’s four walls as her first headlining UK shows completely sold out earlier this year, and she joined none other than Dua Lipa on her US tour last July. She’ll be on tour across the UK again this December, armed with Immunity in all its glory…clairo / introducing