Gentle production and poetic lyrics
Clairo, a young singer-songwriter, recently released her highly awaited sophomore album, Sling. After spending time in quarantine reflecting, Clairo eloquently wrote an album exploring an array of sophisticated topics, from motherhood to mental health. Her poetic lyrics and gentle production set the album apart from her past releases and showcase her artistry.
“Amoeba,” the second track on the album, is one of the most groovy. Clairo sings to herself in a scolding tone as she realizes that she has not prioritized her life properly. The lyrics tell a story about putting energy towards the wrong people and places, leaving her feeling let down. Seemingly sad at first, the lyrics take an optimistic twist as she goes on to sing about changing and bettering herself. This track not only stands out for its intricate and sophisticated lyrics, but also the gentle, yet groovy production. Clairo captures a vintage indie-pop sound that pairs perfectly with her vocals. The sweet beat pairs well with the optimistic piano, creating a relaxing yet uplifting sound.
“Zinnias” is another impressive track on Sling, as it continues with groovy beats and explores settling down, a topic not usually addressed by young songwriters. Clairo imagines a life beyond her, in which she lives a few doors down from her married sister. This track is not only about growing up but also motherhood as she sings about having a “baby in a sling.” While she may not feel ready for that step in life, she questions her future and if she will be ready to fulfill society’s expectations of providing for another person. Not only do her lyrics capture the listener, but the production does as well. The song starts simple with just guitar but transitions to an upbeat and full sound after the song’s first minute. It ends with a full instrumental outro showcasing her writing and production skills.
“Blouse,” the first single released, is already an extremely popular song, with intricate lyrics and beautiful production. The listener is immediately drawn into the journey of this song by the beautiful acoustic guitar intro. The lyrics tell an emotional and personal story, as she sings about feelings of violation and being sexualized in a professional setting. She sings, “why do I tell you how I feel/ when you’re just looking down my blouse?” Feelings of frustration are expressed through her honest lyrics and the emotion in her voice; they then resolve into desperation in the following line where she sings, “if touch could make them hear, then touch me now.” An honest and sadly relatable song for many women, Clairo is able to tell their story and express these emotions through her intricate and powerful lyricism that pairs well with the gentle guitar in the verses and powerful instrumental after the choruses.
“Harbor” is the seventh track on the album and tells another story. This song is personal to one of Clairo’s relationships, as she tells the story of frustration in a one-sided relationship. She feels exhausted from constantly working and trying to please another person who is unwilling to do the same. In “Harbor,” Clairo realizes the reality of the relationship and gives up on the other person and their lack of effort. Her vocals take the center of attention in the production with harmonies that carry emotion and show off her abilities as an artist. She is accompanied by gentle piano and simple guitar that comes in and out, creating the space to showcase her story and voice.
The eighth track on the album, “Just for Today,” is a slow-tempo song that explores mental health through gentle string instrumentals and poetic lyrics. The song begins with a melancholic acoustic guitar that sets the tone. The song only contains two verses and two choruses of lyrics but eloquently tells Clairo’s story. Referencing her struggles with depression and talking to hotlines, she candidly sings about navigating the seemingly never-ending journey with mental health. The lyrics are followed by a somber string instrumental that compliments the tone of the lyrics. This song is sure to resonate with those who struggle with mental health.
Clairo’s second album, Sling, is a soothing collection of songs that eloquently explores various sophisticated topics.