While Massachusetts-based Claire Cottrill has been releasing incredibly charming bedroom-pop music online since her early teens, it was last August with the release of Pretty Girl that business really started picking up.
Not your typical internet sensation: Clairo crafts incredibly warm, DIY bedroom pop that navigates the banality of youth with charm and honesty.
The video for Pretty Girl – which is currently sitting at over 15 million views YouTube – was filmed in about half an hour, says Cottrill. The concept was unglamorous but endearing; a teenage girl awkwardly singing and dancing along to the track in her bedroom.
It may not be the typical go-to for an aspiring teenage pop star, but the video has attracted millions of views plus an online movement of people recreating the clip.
“The reason I made this music video was to actually help myself,” Cottrill says of the song.
“On the day I made this, my hair was greasy, my skin was bad, I had nothing to wear, and I didn’t want to leave bed. I had just woken up in this video and you can definitely tell (lol), I felt really ugly but realised that it’s perfectly okay to feel that way/have those types of days.”
“The song is about a relationship I had where I felt I needed to be the perfect girl for another person… whether that’s wearing makeup, doing my hair, wearing things they like, or even changing the way I speak/WHEN I speak.”
“So, I felt that the only way I could make this video was to have a lot of fun looking disgusting and not caring at all!”
While the sudden success of the video initially caught the high schooler off-guard, she still maintains that she’s somewhat been expecting the exposure since she first began recording music at age 13.
Now, having scored support slots for Chance The Rapper and Brockhampton, forged a string of follow-up videos including 4EVER and Flaming Hot Cheetos, and completed her freshman year at Syracuse University in New York, Cottrill has released her debut six-track EP diary 001.
With features from the likes of Irish rapper Rejjie Snow and UK producer Danny L Harle, the new EP is brimming with fuzzy, low-key bedroom pop gems that reliably deliver honest, engaging, and relatable lyrics.
While it’s probably no longer accurate to describe Clairo as a ‘bedroom’ artist, the new EP maintains her laid-back, lo-fi charm – even when world-class rappers like Rejjie Snow are laying down verses on the opening track.
On the video for Flaming Hot Cheetos, Clairo trades in her bedroom visual aesthetic for a higher production value, but again, still exudes a charming awkwardness it’s difficult not to fall for.
“I’m such a romantic, I never remember how things really happen, I guess you’re attractive, Or something,” she sings.
It’s definitely worth keeping an ear out for Clairo, as she awkwardly dances her way out of the bedroom and into her position as one of the more unique pop musicians of recent times.