Song of the Day #4,735: ‘Blouse’ – Clairo

A few weeks back, I saw an Instagram story by my daughter Sophia featuring an Elliott Smith song and photo. I was a proud dad.

I’ve done a decent job of exposing my kids to music I like over the years, but I didn’t recall working Smith into the mix. This one she had arrived at on her own.

Turns out it was thanks to Sophia’s beloved Phoebe Bridgers, who counts Smith as one of her most profound influences.

I love that a new generation of artists is inspired by acts from the 90s the way those artists were inspired by acts from the 60s and 70s. It’s cool to hear echoes of my old favorites in the music of artists my daughters like.

And it’s even cooler when those influences lead them back to the source material, and I can suddenly discuss with Sophia whether Smith’s best album is Either/Or or XO.

What does that have to do with today’s SOTD? Only that I heard this new release by Clairo, a 22 year-old indie rock artist, and immediately thought it owed a huge debt to Phoebe Bridgers, then realized it owes even more to Elliott Smith.

Whichever it was (and maybe it was neither), I’m just glad that spirit lives on in music this soft and sad.

[Verse 1]
Here we are, quiet at your kitchen table
With courtesy to little pet peeves
Napkins on laps, strands pulled back
I hang the scarf and my mom’s anorak

[Chorus]
Why do I tell you how I feel
When you’re just looking down the blouse?
It’s something I wouldn’t say out loud
If touch could make them hear, then touch me now
If touch could make them hear, then touch me now

[Verse 2]
Talking to some who laugh and others scorned
I guess humor could help me after all
It’s funny now, I’m just useless and a whore
But I get a cosign from your favorite one-man show

[Chorus]
Why do I tell you how I feel
When you’re too busy looking down my blouse?
It’s something I wouldn’t say out loud
If touch could make them hear, then touch me now
If touch could make them hear, then touch me now
If touch could make them hear, then touch me now
Now

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,735: ‘Blouse’ – Clairo

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    The melancholy is strong in this one.😝

  2. Amy says:

    I’m intrigued… first, I’d never heard of Claire, who is, apparently, a “household name” after her debut album. Thanks for putting her on my radar now. Second, Lorde is singing back up and Jack Antonoff is producing… impressive!

    Still, most intriguing is that I read two short articles, both of which misquote the lyric “the blouse” for “my blouse” and build their entire interpretation of the song around that phrase. Even in the final chorus, the only time it’s written “my blouse,” Clairo sings “the blouse.” Perhaps that makes no difference in how one interprets the lyrics, but it seems significant to me.

    Finally, I was today years old when I learned what an anorak is.

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