Charm by Clairo album review by Ben Lock for Northern Transmissions




Claire Cottrill, aka Clairo, has just released an instant classic. Her third studio album, Charm is a subtle yet wittingly dense batch of songs that make for a comforting and uplifting listen all the way through. Claire’s musicality and sonic compass are the stars of the show on this album. Her ability to write rich and captivating melodies is one thing, but her performances on these songs see Claire at her most present and free. Co-producer Leon Micheal’s production style feels like a match made in heaven for Claire’s direction on this album. The songs are presented with a 60s warmth and masterfully mixed instrumentals filled with colourful synths, Mellotron flutes, and some ripping guitar and keyboard melodies floating throughout each track. This year has
been a big year for inventive pop music with new albums from heavyweights such as Billie Eilish, Faye Webster and Charli XCX, and Clairo’s New album Charm is the icing on the cake.

The welcoming opener to this album is “Nomad,” A gorgeous major key tune that eases us into Charm and creates an inviting environment for the listener. The song to follow is the yearnful summer banger, “Sexy to Someone,” which is a well-textured pop song with great chord progressions and groove all the way through. The moment I truly fell in love with this album was “Second Nature,” a song with an evolving momentum of harmony and ear-candy melodies that
make a very satisfying and cheer-filled listen. The halftime Beatles-esque breakdown in this song filled my ears with so much surprise and excitement and added an unexpected beauty to the song, adding a lot more depth to the opening half of the record. Just as you think you've heard one of the best Clairo songs yet, you are hit with the intimate and creative soft rock banger “Slow Dance,” a song existing between the worlds of Norah Jones, Elton John and
Steely Dan—a solid fourth cut off the record and one of my favourites off the record for sure.

The Fifth song off the album, “ Thank You’ Carries a similar 60s pop sensibility to the rest of the album but is easily one of the catchiest Choruses on the whole record. The smooth RnB feel of “Terrapin” fits this tracklist like a glove. It is a song full of Gorgeous Key changes, ripping jazz piano, and synth leads reminiscent of Roy Ayers or Stevie Wonder. Clairos's Vocal layering on this song surprises me with each listen, which is easily one of her most textured songs yet. Another song with a similar vibe is “Juna,” an absolutely stunning song with one of the craziest grooves on the whole album and a really impressive take on modern RnB. “ Add Up My Love” is a strutting down-the-street anthem, a perfect indie rock song that adds another layer of brightness to the album.

How the last three tracks on this album go into each other astonishes me. There is an elegance within the influences Clairo pulls from, and they always blend together to make an eclectic listen. They are very different in ways but yet feel completely cohesive. “Echo” has a slightly more psychedelic and playful sound reminiscent of artists such as Broadcast, Stereolab, and Jessica Pratt, whereas “Glory of The Snow” Is a very fun and happy pop tune that plays with more Mellotron Flute and vintage keyboard sounds as the earlier tracks on the album. The Last Song, “Pier,” Is an intimate goodbye to this excellent album and a stand-alone hit in Clairo's Discography. The Production evolves throughout the track with beautifully placed synths and keyboards, Making it an epic and emotional finale to the album. Clairo has made the perfect summer album.

pre order Charm by Clairo HERE


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