Coco & Clair Clair with Grandma
Tickets to the show at New Parish - https://www.axs.com/events/466479/coco-clair-clair-tickets
Coco & Clair Clair
Coco & Clair Clair knew from the moment they met that they were meant to make music together. Similarly, listeners are immediately drawn to the Atlanta-bred duo through their clever, infectious, and genre-defying songs. Their devoted fan base is primed to grow with the release of their debut project, SEXY. "It's impactful, but it's a really silly word," Clair Clair says of the title. "And then, none of the songs are actually that sexy." Coco & Clair Clair are used to being misjudged at first glance, but these 13 songs put forth their most authentic selves, especially dynamic, flair-filled singles "Cherub" and "Love Me," and put to bed any questions about their artistry.
"'Cherub' shows people our more hip-hop, rap side and then 'Love Me' is more lofi poppy [and] pop star vibes," Coco says. "It's showing people, hey, we can do both."
"We both really wanted to show our capabilities," Clair Clair adds. "Some songs, Coco raps so fast, which she's never done before. And some of the songs, I actually try to sing or I just talk. It was important to us that we tried new things and showcased what we can do without putting out songs that are like, Well, they just put this out because this is a popular sound right now and that's why Coco and Claire are jumping on it. It's still very much us, but it's new and fresh."
Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Coco and Clair Clair's respective skill sets were on display from early ages. Coco was an only child, so she turned toward the internet to find her community and ultimately found an outlet for self-expression: "I didn't have anyone to vibe with at home, so I would just vibe online a lot, and I got into music through MySpace. I would make music videos for friends, and then I started making beats." Clair Clair adds, "I always wanted to be a singer but I don't think I ever thought I would actually be one." Her natural love for music was aided by her father. "I learned a lot about music through my dad driving me to school," she says. "He would always play me music in the car that I had never heard."
Toward the end of high school in 2014, Coco and Clair Clair met through mutual friends on Twitter and would soon influence and teach each other. Their foundational friendship and intrinsic trust are conduits for making music that is singularly theirs but also universally relatable.
"We really rely on the other person," Clair Clair says. "We'll both go write our verses, and then we share them with each other and let the other person edit them. Everything is very much both of our brains combined, which we couldn't do with someone who wasn't a very good friend because it's such a vulnerable process."
In 2017, Coco & Clair Clair decided to record, mix, and self-release the seven-track project POSH before Clair Clair left Atlanta for New York City -- to at least get their music out into the world because they weren't sure the next time they'd be together to make more. The confident, eclectic single "Pretty" took off, introducing their tongue-in-cheek lyricism and multi-layered soundscapes, and boasts over 60 million Spotify streams to date. But it wasn't until May 2019, when they were flown to Santa Ana, Calif., to perform with Cowgirl Clue that they realized they were becoming career musicians.
Since then, their momentum has been gradual and undeniable, growing from viral TikTok moments to playlist placements alongside Doja Cat or PinkPantheress. Catchy singles such as December 2020's "Pop Star" reinforced why fans fell in love with them in the first place, while sets at Lollapalooza and Osheaga converted new fans ahead of SEXY's arrival this fall.
"When we first started, we had such a hard time getting people to take us seriously," Clair Clair says. "When people would write articles about us or we'd meet boys that made music, they'd be like, 'You're funny little girls.' Yeah, we're funny, but there's some seriousness behind all of it. The lyrics are funny, but the song is not a joke. We're not joking around." Now back together in the outskirts of Atlanta, there's nothing standing in the way of Coco & Clair Clair spreading their message worldwide.
The name grandma seems at first unbefitting of 25-year old biological male Liam Hall, yet his sophomore EP Angelhood gives us a few hints as to his unexpectedly pleasant grandmaternal ways. His lyricism is defined by cryptic aphorisms and somewhat deranged storytelling. Inquiries into spirituality and digital life are woven throughout, like whispers of an existential crisis accelerated by the relentlessness of time. In the project's visuals, Hall is often the sole occupant of suburban dreamscapes, navigating the double-edged comfort and malaise brought on by the isolation of the sprawl. Maybe old age is a second childhood, and vice versa-- our dear grandma brings together youthful ennui with an esoteric anxiety about the beyond.
Despite playing the burnout outsider in his videos, Hall is somewhat of a prolific music insider whose track record includes collaborations across a variety of genres. Highlights include an alluring R&B track with sugar trap star Rico Nasty as well as recent and upcoming production/writing credits for artists such as WILLOW, ericdoa, SoFaygo, YUNGBLUD, and JID.
His story is that of a young songwriter entrenched in the rock tradition who became captivated by the infinite possibilities of the digital audio workstation and whisked away into the heart of the internet. Also central to his narrative is Hall's hometown of Atlanta, a city all but synonymous with the history of American music. Atlanta's home-grown genres like country, alternative rock, and trap all find a place in Angelhood's sonic lexicon. While maintaining his penchant for skillful instrumentation, it seems Hall has escaped the irresistible call of nostalgia that defined his last project, the funk-infused Even If We Don't Get It Together (2019), and instead embraced the uncertainty of the future with vulnerability and sincerity.
What remains constant throughout his oeuvre is the balance between experimental stylings and shimmering alt-pop perfection. Collaborators like Nate Donmoyer (Passion Pit, Gesaffelstein) and Chris Greatti (Poppy, Grimes, Yves Tumor) add to Angelhood's versatile production. Celestial harp arpeggios float through the metallic and percussive "I Bleed." "soft-glow" explodes with libidinal energy in a psychedelic breakdown. "Mission Statements" transitions from slippery country-blues croonery into glitchy staccato cloud rap, as if suddenly infected by a genre-bending computer virus.
One of the EP's most poignant songs is "Blue Atlanta," a love letter to the city and its expansive outskirts. Hall's beguiling falsetto hovers above elegantly layered synths, like the aural equivalent of a crepuscular haze over a parking lot. The song gives voice to the generation of young adults forcibly re-confined to their childhood origins and desperately seeking romanticization strategies. Its video provides a few options: internet binges, aimless drives, gas station loitering, urban exploration, retreats into the fringes of nature, introspection into ungodly hours.
The nonlinear nature of love in the digital age--failed talking stages, psychosexual pining, miscommunication and vibe shifts--permeates the album with a dark romanticism. Intertwined with this is a fascinating strain of theism, most present in "God Hired You To Be My Baby" and "I Met God Online," an enigmatic story with a chronically online narrator at its center. In opposition to its esoteric content, the song's wholesome music video, co-directed by Skylar Newman of the brand Praying, is populated with remarkably "normal" people fresh out of a stock image catalog.
Hall's Southern charm lends a choirboy sweetness to the project's underlying melancholia. Combining the affect of an epicene 1970s rock star with that of a public school e-boy, he electrifies the decentralized and liminal spaces of the Internet and the suburbs with a phantasmagoric exuberance. It's the perfect soundtrack for flanerie, cyberstalking, photo manipulation, sowing discord on Discord, and manifestation. Angelhood captures the furtiveness of coming of age, the ever-enchanting American dream, and the transformative effects of Internet use.