Clairo’s new album Sling is not only exceptionally clear in sound but in reflection as well. The delicately crafted songs feel like gentle massages on the ears and mind. In her sophomore album, Clairo meditates deeply on growing up, particularly as a woman, using her lyrical prowess and expressive instrumentals.
The following are some thoughts on a few of my favorite tracks from Sling:
The opening track “Bambi” sets the stage for the album with its dreamy “oohs,” slow, melodic piano, exceptionally serene vocals, and heavenly harmonies. Strange as it may seem, I get Beatles vibes from certain parts of this song. I felt similarities in a few other songs as well, including the last song “Management.” As the Beatles had a large influence on music, it makes sense that I might hear a resemblance in another skilled musician’s album. I particularly noted it with certain instrumentals, pace changes, and the use of stereo sound.
Clairo explained in an interview with Apple Music that she was not in a happy place regarding her music career for a long time. Now, she finally feels like she is creating better boundaries and doing more for herself and her mental health.
The song title references the Walt Disney 1942 animated film Bambi, whose star character is a fawn who loses his mother and has to grow up without her protection and care. Clairo began her musical career very early. “I don’t think I’m Bambi anymore,” she told Apple Music. “I think I’m on the happier side of things. Maybe I’m Thumper.” Thumper is a fun rabbit character who helps guide Bambi in growing up.
Favorite Lyrics from “Bambi”
“I pull until I’m left with the burns / Blisters and the dirt left in between my fingers / Rushing so I can beat the line / But what if all I want is conversation and time?”
Clairo contemplates settling down in this thoughtfully blissful song. The instrumentals feel like they are pulling you home with Clairo as she reflects on what a more domestic life might feel like. She mentions both her brother, sister, and mother who she lived near during quarantine while she wrote these songs. I love the specifics she uses in her lyrics that make this truly her piece about what settling down could be like and what family means to her.
Favorite Lyrics from “Zinnias”
“Quietly, I’m tempted / Sure sounds nice to settle down for a whilе / Let the real еstate show itself to me / I could wake up with a baby in a sling / Just a couple doors down from Abigail / My sister, man and her ring.”
An instrumental titled after Clairo’s dog that changes pace multiple times, this song allows Clairo to newly explore her musicality. She combines the instruments beautifully, expressing a love for her dog and the toils of caring for another being. Her dog Joanie is apparently credited to the song for her snoring and hitting chimes with her tail!
In her interview with Apple Music, Clairo agrees that this song is the key to her record. It was the first song she wrote for this album that talked about motherhood and parenthood. Clairo quarantined in her birthplace and where her mother resides. She spent time talking to her mother and seeing her in a new light. “I looked at my mother very differently because I was able to see all of the sacrifices she had made for me… I know less about who my mom was before she was wife and before she was mom.“ “Sling” is dedicated to Clairo’s mom.
Favorite Lyrics from “Reaper”
“There’s a claw on my shoulder / And she’s saying the obvious / ‘You know eventually you’re gonna have to be a provider, too'”
“I feel like this record turned into exactly what I wanted it to be,” Clairo said. After this skillful and reflective second album, Clairo wants to find her identity outside of being a musician. “I’d like to learn more about myself as a human,” she reflected. Take a full listen to the album here and leave a comment about what you think of your favorite songs!