Before we hop into this: Clairo, if you’re reading this—please let me take you out to dinner. Thank you.
When I first heard Clairo’s breakout song “Pretty Girl,” I felt as if a witch had just cast a spell of love and teenage angst upon me. Exuberant synthesizers paired with the entrancing, beautimous voice of Clairo will launch you into a state of apprehension, lust, and wonder. She truly cemented herself as the Queen of Bedroom Pop in her debut EP diary 001.
Beginning with the production of the EP, Clairo fully orchestrated this record herself—aside from the one co-produced hit “B.O.M.D,” which featured the “PC music” specialist Danny L. Harle. The utilization of clicky, upbeat synths is consistently and flawlessly matched with middle school-esque keyboard bumps. This alluring combination perfectly fits with the flat, nearly-monotone vocals that Clairo provides throughout. This may sound like a deterring factor to the record; however, I do not think there is a better way to personify the thoughts that run through her listeners' minds on a daily basis. The main priority throughout is to appeal to the feelings that not only she experiences, but also the feelings that others are too afraid to express. Everyone—in Clairo’s mind—is stuck in a misogynistic, grey area in their life until they can fully convey the veracity running throughout their brain. This understanding provides the color in one’s life that is so unbelievably hard to identify.
Although the production on this EP is, quite honestly, very simple, the way Clairo was even able to curate this EP is unfathomable. She produced the entirety of this record in her dorm at Syracuse University. In an interview with the pop culture powerhouse Complex, Clairo emphasized, “It was never my intention to make ‘bedroom pop’ sounding music, I just used the resources I had available to me... and they weren't very high quality.” Doesn’t that just make everything all the more impressive? The ability to employ your feelings through Garageband and produce a beyond remarkable record is unbelievable. Clairo took bedroom pop from a cliche to a point of expression of angst that applies to the masses.
Clairo’s genius spanned far past her production, as well. The young star taught herself guitar and legitimately refused to have others intervene with her lyrical writing. She wanted to have every lyric fully embody the true feelings inside her own head. If anyone else were to attempt to provide lyrical input, it would just inhibit the thoughts that truly enveloped her headspace. She constantly wants to push the boundaries and prove to her listeners that every single person in this world wants the same thing: love. Whether that feeling is “one click away” on Tinder or Bumble as she emphasizes on “Hello?”, or if the love is due to someone just “feeling something right” as she emphasizes on “Flaming Hot Cheetos,” it's all the same for our generation. Everything needs to be instant, and if it isn’t, you are immediately pushed into a spot of pure anxiety.
Clairo produced a record that embodied my—and any teenagers—middle school and high school career.
Songs like “How-Demo” and “4EVER” may make you sob uncontrollably in a cozy corner in your crib, but the truth behind every lyric makes that experience so unbelievably worth it. I cannot express how much this record changed my music taste. She truly changed what I looked for in a listening experience. A perfection in lyricism can overshadow a simplistic beat, and that helped me branch out toward artists like Roy Blair, Jack Larsen, Natalie Green, Beabadobee, girl in red, and countless others.
The vinyl itself is fairly simplistic. The pure black record is accompanied by an inner ring that generically depicts the tracks along with her record label, FADER, in a Power Puff Girls-like font. The front of the vinyl sleeve portrays Clairo laying in a bed of grass, while the back flaunts a large rectangle covered in carpeting sitting in the same landscape. I still am genuinely perplexed by the meaning behind the back cover art; however, I can only admire the simplistic theme that Clairo instantiates throughout.
This record yielded a solid 6.5/10 from me. The record lacks longevity due to the fact that it only contains an A-side. It is also a very bland and unappealing vinyl. These are nowhere near a poor attribute, solely due to Clairo’s ability to provide relatable and unifying lyrics to Generation Z kids throughout. I fully believe the attributes of the record perfectly exemplify what Clairo emphasizes: we all want an escape from the unfortunate reality we face on a daily basis. She never fails to provide that in every single track. Her production and lyricism only progress from this record, and that is shown in her debut album Sofia. If you're looking for a cheap record—or you are a just LARGE bedroom pop fan—this vinyl is for you. Clairo revolutionized the ideology that anyone can become a superstar, and I truly believe that Clairo will be on everyone’s radar in the coming years. So, copping her debut record may be a pretty solid idea. It is a mega-quick listen, sitting at only 14 minutes. It is genuinely perfect for a rainy day, or if you are just looking to reminisce on your days as an angst-filled teen.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, and let me end this by emphasizing what Clairo states on "B.O.M.D": I love you all so dearly. Thank you.