The young viral star Clairo — whose sound is a kind of fusion of twee-pop and gleaming R&B — only just released her full-length debut Immunity. Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of Vampire Weekend, co-produced it with Clairo herself. And last night, Clairo made one of those steps that signals the beginnings of a leap from internet fame to actual fame, if there’s even a distinction anymore. She made her late-night debut, working as the musical guest on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. And she showed that she already knows how to turn a late-night performance into a spectacle.
On the show, Clairo sang “I Wouldn’t Ask You,” the hushed and minimal song that ends Immunity. She played against a stark white background, concentrating hard and looking intense. And she had help: Six little kids, who stood on a tiny riser behind her and sang backup on the chorus.
Clairo is 21, and she actually looks way younger than that. So it’s interesting that she had a whole bunch of people younger than her up onstage. It may have actually made her look even more like a baby. The song’s arrangement was lovely, and the whole thing with the kids was honest-to-god cute. Altogether, it made for a memorable and assured performance, especially from someone whose live shows haven’t exactly drawn consistent raves. Watch the performance below.
Immunity is out now on Fader Label.