In recent years, lo-fi production has become something of a phenomenon, rising to prominence in genres like trap, pop and everything in between. One of the eminent artists to embrace this “perfectly imperfect” style of production in recent memory has been bedroom pop singer-songwriter Clairo, whose dreamy vocals layered atop lo-fi beats quickly made her a viral star with breakout tracks like “Flaming Hot Cheetos” and “Pretty Girl.”
Now, the time has come for Clairo’s debut full-length effort, Immunity. Unsurprisingly, she hasn’t abandoned the somber, low-fidelity styling that carried her to fame. Indeed, much of Immunity will sound quite familiar to those who have listened to her earlier work — the type of music tailor-made for moody, nighttime drives and sulking in your bedroom. This is not to say that Immunity is dull or uninteresting, by any means — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — but it should be noted that instrumentally, the new LP does not necessarily take risks, although it could be argued that it is a more “polished” brand of the same lo-fi soundscape Clairo built her name on. Nevertheless, rest assured that the album does sound very pretty — a soothing, easy listen that becomes much more impactful when you begin to listen closely to Clairo’s words:
Where Immunity excels is in the inarguable maturity of Clairo’s songwriting when compared to her previous efforts. While the new album is sure to appeal to a demographic on the younger side, as her older work did, it seems that Immunity could make strides in bridging the gap between her younger fanbase and older generations of listeners with its deeply emotional, melancholic lyricism. Much of Immunity uneasily explores the muddiness of love, perhaps mostly unrequited, stemming from her coming out as bisexual last year. The LP also features strong undertones of confusion and sadness, like on the morose yet infectious opener “Alewife.”
This all adds up to Clairo delivering a take on the complexities of modern love in a way that few can: lighthearted yet disconcerting, lush yet despondent, serene yet sullen.