The notoriously soft-spoken Clairo re-emerges more introspective than ever before on her sophomore album, Sling. After the success of her 2019 debut, Immunity, the 22-year-old songwriter born as Claire Cottrill retreated from touring and the spotlight. She seems to have found an even deeper solace in being alone throughout the pandemic and this is all reflected in the album’s 12 gentle tracks.
Produced by Jack Antonoff and featuring select backup vocals from Lorde, Sling is a cozier, quieter, and more piano-led affair than Clairo’s first album. What makes her music so appealing is the sincerity and truthfulness contained within each lo-fi folk-tinged composition, and Sling has that in spades.
Sling is dreamy, if not a little sleepy and monotonous at times, but what comes into focus is the artist’s growing strength as a songwriter. Jauntier songs, like the tinge of funk in “Amoeba” or the Carole King-esque closer “Management,” give the album some variety and a more lived in feel. The instrumental “Joanie,” named after her dog, provides a lush repose near the album’s end, with jazzy piano spikes and snoring sounds from the titular character.
Clairo’s latest doesn’t have hooks that stick with you the way her 2019 single “Bags” did, but the album isn’t trying to provide any. It’s still a thoughtful, warm, and welcome next step in the young artist’s career.