Clairo On How the Carpenters, Paul Simon, and Her New Dog Inspired Her Latest Album

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In 2019, Claire Cottrill released Immunity, her debut album, the same evening that she reached another career milestone: performing at Madison Square Garden. Having risen to fame practically overnight with the viral hit “Pretty Girls”—its lo-fi music video currently sits at 75 million-plus views on YouTube—Cottrill previewed the album for thousands of people nightly as she opened for Khalid on his Free Spirit World Tour. 

“It was so stressful,” she told Vogue over a recent Zoom conversation. “It’s also the polar opposite of how I’ll be celebrating this time.” The 22-year old singer-songwriter is sporting a shaggy mullet and a white Electric Lady Studios T-shirt dyed pink-ish from a laundry mishap (“I accidentally washed it with red underwear…”). Cottrill, who performs under the stage name Clairo, recently relocated from her Brooklyn apartment to a five-acre property in Massachusetts, where she grew up. There are so many walls to paint and so much maintenance to be done that it’s almost enough to distract her from the release of her sophomore album; her best friends (and fellow musicians) Claud and Josh Mehling are on their way from New York to help Cottrill settle in and toast the release of Sling, out today. 

Co-produced by former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij, Immunity turned Cottrill into the poet laureate of Gen-Z discontent. With lyrics that delved into the topics of depression, bisexuality, anxiety, and heartache with wistful abandon, Cottrill’s debut was an accumulation of all the experiences that shaped her teenage years. Sling, on the other hand, is more concerned with the self-discovery and personal evolution that comes with entering your twenties.

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Cottrill recorded the album last fall at Allaire Studios, a picturesque, mountain-top estate near Woodstock in upstate New York. Co-produced by Jack Antonoff, whose recent credits include hits from Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Lorde, Sling marks a thrilling artistic leap for both him and Cottrill; its track-list drenched in lush strings and gentle piano melodies. Largely inspired by the new love of Cottrill’s life–her rescue dog Joanie, named after Joni Mitchell–Sling features some of her most stirring songwriting to date. It’s like Ladies of the Canyon on SSRIs. 

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