ep review: diary 001

Written by Donna Borges

Bedroom pop princess Clairo rose in popularity after her webcam music video for “Pretty Girl” went viral. Since then, she has become a lo-fi icon and has recently released her first EP titled diary 001. The tracklist includes some of the singles that led her to fame, including “Pretty Girl”, “Flaming Hot Cheetos” and her newest single “4EVER”. The EP continues to combine chill lo-fi beats with Clairo’s dreamy vocals to create the perfect scene for her songwriting, which is often thoughtful and relatable, telling the stories of a girl in the digital age.

The first track off the EP, “Hello?” featuring Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, conveys the reality of meeting people online and what it’s like to be “one click away / from something real or fake”. “Flaming Hot Cheetos” consists of a repetitive beat and glimmering synth under Clairo’s soulful yet understated vocals. The simplicity of her vocals is part of what makes her music so popular. Something about her voice is captivating and seemingly effortless. “B.O.M.D.” carries a childlike excitement that comes with new romantic opportunity. The chirping synth and funky bassline seem to mimic the anxious yet electrifying feelings of young love. She also used the song’s acronym to come out as bisexual on twitter shortly after the release of the EP.

“4EVER” is perhaps the most diverse and musically deep song on the EP, with a groovy bassline, driving beat, and ethereal harmonies. Clairo has mastered the ability to make intricate musicality look extremely easy, as can be seen most clearly in “4EVER”. “Pretty Girl”, the single that kick started her career and led some to believe she would become a one-hit wonder, takes a stab at gender roles and what is generally expected of women in relationships. In this song, she takes on the role of a submissive woman who would “wear a skirt for you” and “shut up when you ask me to”, calling attention to how men tend to view and treat women. The final track on the EP, the demo “How”, has the same feel as “Pretty Girl”, with a simple beat and gleaming synths under her floating, dreamlike vocals. Overall, Clairo’s diary 001 has proven that she is nothing close to a one-hit wonder. Her unique approach to vocals and her ability to make intricate music look easy.

Clairo is currently on tour and has three socal dates: August 11th @ The Constellation Room in Santa Ana, August 14th @ The Roxy in Los Angeles, and August 18th @ The House of Blues Voodoo Room in San Diego.

Listen to the full EP here:

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