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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 2 augustus 2019 | FADER Label

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Clairo's five or so years as a rising, teenaged Bandcamp self-releaser turned social media star included viral songs such as "Pretty Girl" and "Flaming Hot Cheetos" as well as collaborations with fellow bedroom pop phenoms Cuco and Jakob Ogawa. On her full-length major-label debut, Immunity, she maintains a feel largely defined by soft vocals and woozy atmosphere and officially leaves the bedroom behind. Co-produced by Vampire Weekend alum Rostam, the album's velvety textures sound constructed rather than preprogrammed, and guest Danielle Haim plays live drums on several tracks. The record's closer even features a children's chorus. It remains a distinctly intimate affair, however, as established on opener "Alewife." Ethereal, choral-like synths and a sentimental piano chord progression set the tone before a pit-a-pat drum rhythm accompanies Clairo as she recounts a night in her early teens when a friend stopped her from attempting suicide. A song concerned with gratitude more than brooding, its pillow-soft vocal delivery translates to tracks throughout the album, even the alt-'90s-inspired "Bags" and low-key dance-rock of "Sofia." On the latter song, she ventures into melisma, while the spacious ballad "Closer to You" experiments with the Auto-Tune and muffled drums of slow-jam territory. Acknowledging these stylistic variances and subtle production touches, Immunity is nothing if not consistent in providing Clairo's confessional lyrics and seemingly thematically detached vocals with a cushiony-soft landing. What she loses here in charm, she makes up for in lyrical depth and an enveloping sense of comfort. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 16 juli 2021 | Republic Records

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You know this record is special from the very first song, "Bambi," which starts off with quiet keys and softly shuffling drums. The balmy bass comes in, followed by sun-dappled guitar, then languorous woodwind—like guests wandering in at a party, their conversation quieting and rising like a living thing. The center of attention is Claire Cottrill's—Clairo's—rich voice. The whole effect is easy and considered in a way that evokes Harry Nilsson. So, too, does "Wade," with its comforting George Harrison guitar tones, and the gentle violin bounce of "Management." And after a couple of years of '90s nostalgia in indie pop, this early-1970s golden glow feels wonderful. There's a certain lushness to "Partridge," with its multi-track vocals, twinkling fern-bar piano and rubber-band bass, that is so round and full it's like a wonderful time machine. Sling is warm and tangible, the opposite of the synthetics creeping into everything today—more like you're in the room and hearing it live. Credit Cottrill's instincts as well as those of producer Jack Antonoff, who knows how to inject quirkiness that feels genuine and not forced—and how to tap into heart-on-the-sleeve emotion better than anyone working today. That makes him the perfect match for Cottrill on songs like the angelic and bittersweet "Blouse," an acoustic track with guest vocals from Lorde. "Why do I tell you how I feel/ When you're too busy looking down my blouse?" Cotrill sings in the chorus, which she has said refers to the experience of working with predatory men in music. "Mommy, I'm afraid I've been talking to the hotline again," goes "Just for Today." (Cottrill, who also wrote on her debut of battling depression and anxiety, has clarified it was actually an online chat room for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). It's one of several songs on the album that reveal the lone '90s spectre on hand—Elliott Smith—but he falls right in line with the Nilsson, Carpenters and late-era Beatles vibes that wash over Sling. The canyon country of "Reaper" is a real treat, as is the perky, Vince Guaraldi-evoking "Joanie." "Amoeba" is like a musical onomatopoeia, shape-shifting amorphously before coalescing as this wonderfully confident, almost strutting thing. Go ahead and add this to the Best of 2021 list. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 16 juli 2021 | Republic Records

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Taking another turn in what to this point has been a shape-shifting young career, Clairo leaves behind any trace of the pop and electronic luster present on her major-label debut, the Rostam-produced Immunity, as well as the quirky bedroom pop of her teens on the follow-up, Sling. Her debut for Republic Records, Sling was co-produced by Clairo and man of the hour Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, St. Vincent), and together they instead embrace a strikingly intimate, '70s-evoking orchestral folk-rock palette that relies on instruments spanning piano, upright bass, and lap steel to Wurlitzer and clavinet. The two multi-instrumentalists recorded the album over the course of a month in an isolated studio in the Catskills. What they captured is an often suffocatingly internal habitat, one where breathy, murmured vocals and close, Elliott Smith-like multi-tracking or harmonizing (Lorde lent additional vocals to some of the songs) are transported further inward by dreamy, delicate arrangements full of shimmer and harp-like flourishes, as on the warped "Wade." Like many of the tracks here, that song opens with simple accompaniment -- in this case, piano -- then adds light touches of lap steel before settling into a humming harmonic fabric where it becomes difficult to distinguish instruments. Eventually, horn-like timbres usher in a key change, as Clairo philosophizes on past relationships, depressions, and transitions ("If you don't do the things you do/They'll just happen to you"). It includes a dreamlike instrumental passage that lands something like the poppy field scene in The Wizard of Oz. That song also contains a false ending and quasi-denouement, a structure that recurs on tracks including the closer, "Management" ("Complain to the management about my lack of self-respect"). The latter song adds tempo changes to the scheme. The closest thing to a straight-up pop song on Sling is probably the uptempo, drum kit-bolstered "Amoeba," if only relatively speaking, though "Blouse" is an elegant highlight that's self-possessed enough to work outside of the album's otherworldly context (it was selected as the lead single). While melodies are largely stagnant on Sling, and lyrics swing between grievance and self-realization (occasional stand-out turns of phrase include the opening lyrics, "I'm stepping inside a universe designed against my own beauties"), the album's ruminative atmospheres are its defining -- and likely haunting -- strength. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 25 mei 2018 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 4 augustus 2017 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 11 juni 2021 | Republic Records

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 26 juli 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 16 juli 2021 | Republic Records

Taking another turn in what to this point has been a shape-shifting young career, Clairo leaves behind any trace of the pop and electronic luster present on her major-label debut, the Rostam-produced Immunity, as well as the quirky bedroom pop of her teens on the follow-up, Sling. Her debut for Republic Records, Sling was co-produced by Clairo and man of the hour Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, St. Vincent), and together they instead embrace a strikingly intimate, '70s-evoking orchestral folk-rock palette that relies on instruments spanning piano, upright bass, and lap steel to Wurlitzer and clavinet. The two multi-instrumentalists recorded the album over the course of a month in an isolated studio in the Catskills. What they captured is an often suffocatingly internal habitat, one where breathy, murmured vocals and close, Elliott Smith-like multi-tracking or harmonizing (Lorde lent additional vocals to some of the songs) are transported further inward by dreamy, delicate arrangements full of shimmer and harp-like flourishes, as on the warped "Wade." Like many of the tracks here, that song opens with simple accompaniment -- in this case, piano -- then adds light touches of lap steel before settling into a humming harmonic fabric where it becomes difficult to distinguish instruments. Eventually, horn-like timbres usher in a key change, as Clairo philosophizes on past relationships, depressions, and transitions ("If you don't do the things you do/They'll just happen to you"). It includes a dreamlike instrumental passage that lands something like the poppy field scene in The Wizard of Oz. That song also contains a false ending and quasi-denouement, a structure that recurs on tracks including the closer, "Management" ("Complain to the management about my lack of self-respect"). The latter song adds tempo changes to the scheme. The closest thing to a straight-up pop song on Sling is probably the uptempo, drum kit-bolstered "Amoeba," if only relatively speaking, though "Blouse" is an elegant highlight that's self-possessed enough to work outside of the album's otherworldly context (it was selected as the lead single). While melodies are largely stagnant on Sling, and lyrics swing between grievance and self-realization (occasional stand-out turns of phrase include the opening lyrics, "I'm stepping inside a universe designed against my own beauties"), the album's ruminative atmospheres are its defining -- and likely haunting -- strength. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 24 mei 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 14 juni 2017 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 26 juli 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 16 juli 2021 | Republic Records

You know this record is special from the very first song, "Bambi," which starts off with quiet keys and softly shuffling drums. The balmy bass comes in, followed by sun-dappled guitar, then languorous woodwind—like guests wandering in at a party, their conversation quieting and rising like a living thing. The center of attention is Claire Cottrill's—Clairo's—rich voice. The whole effect is easy and considered in a way that evokes Harry Nilsson. So, too, does "Wade," with its comforting George Harrison guitar tones, and the gentle violin bounce of "Management." And after a couple of years of '90s nostalgia in indie pop, this early-1970s golden glow feels wonderful. There's a certain lushness to "Partridge," with its multi-track vocals, twinkling fern-bar piano and rubber-band bass, that is so round and full it's like a wonderful time machine. Sling is warm and tangible, the opposite of the synthetics creeping into everything today—more like you're in the room and hearing it live. Credit Cottrill's instincts as well as those of producer Jack Antonoff, who knows how to inject quirkiness that feels genuine and not forced—and how to tap into heart-on-the-sleeve emotion better than anyone working today. That makes him the perfect match for Cottrill on songs like the angelic and bittersweet "Blouse," an acoustic track with guest vocals from Lorde. "Why do I tell you how I feel/ When you're too busy looking down my blouse?" Cotrill sings in the chorus, which she has said refers to the experience of working with predatory men in music. "Mommy, I'm afraid I've been talking to the hotline again," goes "Just for Today." (Cottrill, who also wrote on her debut of battling depression and anxiety, has clarified it was actually an online chat room for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline). It's one of several songs on the album that reveal the lone '90s spectre on hand—Elliott Smith—but he falls right in line with the Nilsson, Carpenters and late-era Beatles vibes that wash over Sling. The canyon country of "Reaper" is a real treat, as is the perky, Vince Guaraldi-evoking "Joanie." "Amoeba" is like a musical onomatopoeia, shape-shifting amorphously before coalescing as this wonderfully confident, almost strutting thing. Go ahead and add this to the Best of 2021 list. © Shelly Ridenour/Qobuz
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 2 augustus 2019 | FADER Label

Clairo's five or so years as a rising, teenaged Bandcamp self-releaser turned social media star included viral songs such as "Pretty Girl" and "Flaming Hot Cheetos" as well as collaborations with fellow bedroom pop phenoms Cuco and Jakob Ogawa. On her full-length major-label debut, Immunity, she maintains a feel largely defined by soft vocals and woozy atmosphere and officially leaves the bedroom behind. Co-produced by Vampire Weekend alum Rostam, the album's velvety textures sound constructed rather than preprogrammed, and guest Danielle Haim plays live drums on several tracks. The record's closer even features a children's chorus. It remains a distinctly intimate affair, however, as established on opener "Alewife." Ethereal, choral-like synths and a sentimental piano chord progression set the tone before a pit-a-pat drum rhythm accompanies Clairo as she recounts a night in her early teens when a friend stopped her from attempting suicide. A song concerned with gratitude more than brooding, its pillow-soft vocal delivery translates to tracks throughout the album, even the alt-'90s-inspired "Bags" and low-key dance-rock of "Sofia." On the latter song, she ventures into melisma, while the spacious ballad "Closer to You" experiments with the Auto-Tune and muffled drums of slow-jam territory. Acknowledging these stylistic variances and subtle production touches, Immunity is nothing if not consistent in providing Clairo's confessional lyrics and seemingly thematically detached vocals with a cushiony-soft landing. What she loses here in charm, she makes up for in lyrical depth and an enveloping sense of comfort. © Marcy Donelson /TiVo
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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 27 april 2018 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 27 juni 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 24 mei 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 7 september 2018 | Darkroom

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 27 juni 2019 | FADER Label

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Alternative en Indie - Verschenen op 11 juni 2021 | Republic Records