Label: FADER Label/Republic/Polydor Records
Released: 16th July 2021
Claire Cottrill knows how to create a vibe. That’s the first thing that strikes after hitting play on her second full-length. A lush, lavish, opulent piece, it sees the 22-year-old Gen-Z breakthrough icon working with alt-pop’s go-to producer, Jack Antonoff. But while sometimes, elsewhere, it might feel like the Bleachers main man has at least one hand on the steering wheel, guiding his charge down well beaten, Springsteen-esque paths, there are no such fears here. ‘Sling’ is 100% Clairo.
While 2019’s breakthrough ‘Immunity’ felt an organic, textured affair, its follow up is bathed in a dreamy warmth – a welcoming embrace of a simpler, less stressful time. Lyrically, lead track ‘Blouse’ may muse on the abuse of power by lecherous, creepy men, but musically, ‘Sling’ is a record that seems crafted from the earth around it. A million miles from the always-on, screenburn culture that creeps through every nook and cranny, it’s a timeless charm that never demands but always enchants.
While others might have crumbled under the pressure, Clairo has flourished. Even the presence of Lorde on backing vocals across several songs never threatens to steal her limelight. From the heart-swelling embers of ‘Just For Today…’ to the twinkling piano keys of ‘Little Changes’, wrapped attention is assured. Subtle but powerful, ‘Sling’ is an album born of love and care. A slow-burner, sure, but one that will last the distance.