‘Immunity’ was an album with a lot riding on it. Since 2017 viral hit ‘Pretty Girl’ and equally hype-gathering EP ‘Diary 001’ the following year, Claire Cottrill aka Clairo has had all eyes on her, with many assuming she would just be another bedroom pop indie star who would quickly fade away. This album completely disproves that.
Production on the album comes from Claire herself and ex-Vampire Weekend mastermind Rostam, who definitely leaves VW esque fingerprints behind, especially on the track ‘Impossible’, but this style of production works perfectly for Claire. Each song sounds fuller and richer than her previous more lo-fi efforts but still manages to focus in mainly on Claire’s lyrics and central melodies, making sure nothing is lost in over-production. I don’t want to patronise her and say it’s ‘good for her age’ but at 20 years old to be this skilled at songwriting is no small feat.
‘North’ is a high point on the album, it’s focused grooves and snappy melody combined with Claire’s crystal clear vocals making for a really memorable track. The lyric ‘I never let anybody in, but somehow you got under my skin’ summing up the album perfectly; ‘Immunity’ is the story of Clairo opening up about her past experiences, and each track is written in such a way that it’s as if you’re listening to an old friend, or reading a diary of their highest and lowest points.
‘Sofia’ is another album highlight, starting off as a fairly chill indie banger reminiscent of Amber Arcades or Alvvays before bursting into this gritty, groovy distorted guitar riff that takes the track to another level. The layers of vocals and instruments towards the end just show how meticulously this was put together. The whole album sounds so smooth and effortless but the more you listen, the more complex you realise it is.
Closing track ‘I Wouldn’t Ask You’ is an almost 7 minute long track, and it’s pretty much in 2 halves, starting off very intimate and slow with Claire & a Children’s choir over a gentle piano backing before a cascade of synths and drum loops come in almost like her mind has cleared from that gloomy period, with the choir now literally singing ‘we’ll be alright’.
‘Immunity’ is a beautiful, comforting album that I feel that I, and many others, will come back to time and time again.