At just 22 years old, Claire Cotrill, aka Clairo, has covered the creative ground of someone well beyond her years. The young artist has gained steady momentum since the 2018 release of “Pretty Girl,” and, luckily for us, that momentum has culminated in the release of her sophomore album Sling, produced in collaboration with Jack Antonoff.
On the highly-anticipated project, Cotrill metaphorically leaves her childhood room to enter a wider world with even darker depths. And what we lose of her bedroom-pop sound we more than gain back in the emotional resonance, self-assurance, and maturity that she brings to Sling.
“Blouse,” the first track the artist released from the record, is an anthem of quiet rage. The song initially paints a picture of quaint comfort, with “courtesy to little pet peeves/napkins on lap, strands pulled back.” But it quickly burgeons into something far more accusatory and defiant: “Why do I tell you how I feel?/When you’re just looking down the blouse.” The song’s investment in setting a scene of domestic tranquility makes the jack-in-the-box appearance of sexual objectification all the more acrid. The track is made more luring and evocative by backing vocals from another one of Antonoff’s collaborators, Lorde, which contribute to an air of solidarity between the two artists.
But Cotrill’s lyrical genius isn’t all that’s on display on Sling; songs like “Amoeba,” “Bambi,” and “Just a Day” incorporate an eclectic musical palette, with flourishing pianos, lulling acoustic guitar, and mellifluous vocals, demonstrating that evidence of Cotrill’s artistic growth doesn’t just appear in her lyrics.
Clairo is perhaps the best expression of the adage “age is just a number.” While she’s become somewhat of a Gen Z ambassador, she’s gone to great lengths to assure us that her soul is much older than that. “I’m old with some resentment,” Cotrill sings on the final song of the album, and in one line sums up what growing up means to her. Undoubtedly, the polished bedroom pop oracler is still in there; she’s just learned to embrace all of her edges, and, what’s more, show them off.

photo by: Adrian Nieto