As I stood in the crowd at the Paradise Rock Club watching Clairo thank everyone for coming, I overheard a girl turn to her friend, saying, “She’s just so chill”. This casual phrase sums up Clairo’s stage presence perfectly. Her relaxed demeanor is immediately enticing in a way that can’t quite be pinned on any specific trait. As she sauntered across the stage, her vocals sounded just like her recordings( surprising given how unique her vocalizations are) and she did it all seemingly effortless.
Clairo, for all her calmness, has pretty normal origins. She is a singer/songwriter from Carlisle Massachusetts. Where her path differed, however, is in 2017 a when a video she made for her song “Pretty Girl” went viral. now claiming over 43 million views. She has, since that video, become one of the most famous artists pioneering in the lo-fi pop genre. Some may criticize her success due to her familial origins; her father is a successful marketing executive that has worked with companies like Coca-Cola, Converse, and Starbucks. While her origin to fame may need to be considered and noted, it can’t be doubted that she belongs in the spotlight. After the success of Pretty Girl, Clairo signed a 12-song record contract with Fader Label. She is currently on tour for her latest album Immunity which was released on August 2, 2019.
At the show of her I watched, he started with her song “Alewife”, the crowd of what looked like 14-20-year-olds smiled back at her. The song was a perfect start to a Boston show, the lyrics beginning with an immediate call to the area: “In Massachusetts, only thirty minutes from Alewife.” The relatable song had the crowd engaged from the moment she began singing, and this excitement didn’t dwindle. Couples swayed along to her slower songs and groups of friends belted the lyrics to their favorite tracks. With her ever-present chill and constant relatability, she crafted an environment that felt less like a show and more like an experience that everyone could easily enjoy.
Flaming Hot Cheetos, Bags, and 4EVER were audibly the crowd favorites. And of course, her viral hit Pretty Girl, which she saved for the encore. The crowd was entranced with her presence despite the fact that she didn’t do anything particularly fancy on stage. Her clothing wasn’t flashy; she wore a grey sweatshirt and jeans, her hair in a bun. She didn’t have any choreographed dancing and didn’t even coax the crowd to clap. For a few of the songs, she stared down at her shoes as she paced. But believe it or not, this is what made the show so engaging. She sang the songs as they were, refusing to engage in anything other than the way her body naturally seemed to move. She had a giant smile on her face for many of the songs, particularly when the crowd would sing along. Everything she did on stage was genuine, which made the experience feel authentic, engaging, and familiar all at once.