Clairo’s anthems are as soft as lullabies

Graphic by @sundaeghost

A slight audio mishap wasn’t enough to discourage the crowd

Monday, Nov. 18, was not a pleasant evening. It was cold, the promise of freezing rain lingering in the air. Clairo’s stage at Corona Theatre was set with a carpeted platform and a crescent-moon-like semi-circle structure.

I first came to know Clairo sometime last year, my little sister (so little, she’s 18) showed me her favourite song, “Flaming Hot Cheetos.” It’s a vibe. I wouldn’t describe Clairo’s music as “flaming hot,” it’s more so sleepy, kinda moody, almost sullen, and very pastel.

I expected her performance to be bit dancey. It wasn’t. My sister said it was as though Clairo was frightened of the crowd and absolutely did not want to be touched by anyone, under any circumstances. Cotton candy clouds projected on her crescent moon, Clairo’s anthems are as soft as lullabies.

Fans handed Clairo a box of crackers, she considered it, seemingly reading the ingredients. My sister whispered to me, “oh my god, those are veggie thins!” We used to eat those crackers with chicken noodle soup at my grandmother’s house.

Apparently Clairo discovered a straw in the box, disgusted, she returned it to the crowd. I was distracted by a loud pop, followed by a couple more loud pops.

The people in the crowd kept on, despite the sound mishap, shouting compliments and swaying. Eager for her attention, someone threw a single rose on stage, she barely noticed it. But my heart lies with Clairo’s guitarist, Hayley Briasco (aka Kim Tee), who was jamming, dancing and really feeling herself in her small corner of the stage. She really kept up group morale.

Throughout the night, cheesy sunsets, landscapes, seascapes, waves, desert, mountains, alps and a worm burrowing into sand took turns filling the crescent moon behind the performers. Maps of the world, smushed together, all continents one, only to break apart. An outline of the United States, California underwater… softly sinister topics sprinkled between the natural beauty. An honest, dark humour shared by all millenials and Gen-Z’s when facing our uncertain futures. 

Clairo is, like her music, timid, caring, calm, and quite reserved; her lyrics melting in with the melody. She put forth a new, currently untitled song, created on tour in Oregon. She sang alone on stage, with her guitar, without her band. I was disappointed I couldn’t keep watching Kim Tee wiggle.

I never say your name

But I wrote these chords with you in mind

I’ve met you on the benches

Of places where I know we can still hide

Sometimes it’s hard

‘Cause I just wanna call you and cry

I can’t help but wonder who she’s singing about, who hurt her? Immunity is the artist’s first polished album, with angsty, emotional and romantic tracks. The album seems to manifest immunity from other people’s bullshit, from staring gazes and pointed fingers at queer couples in small towns.

The artist closed off the night with the viral Youtube video that gained her fame in 2017, “Pretty Girl,” a lo-fi track captured the eyes of millions of viewers. The video projected on stage, her 18-year-old self wearing cat eye glasses, her hair in pigtails, lip synching and dancing to her song while seated in her bed. 

Ending on a warm, happy note, orange flowers in the background, Clairo wrapped the audience in a warm hug before sending them off into the cold.


Graphic by @sundaeghost

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