About Clairy BrowneArtist Enquiry | Official Website
All hail the bold women of R&B. They emote. They break. But they get it done.
“POOL” celebrates the divine and whip-smart Clairy Browne’s love of R&B and pop music of all styles and eras. From its robust takedowns, to its big soulful ballads, to its pop rhythms thick with dope beats and sticky melodies to burn, it is set to be the summer club record.
Chameleon-like, Browne slips between personas, from femmebot killer to super vixen. She is the street fashionista who loves Moschino, acrylic nails, and every shade of pink. She is also the boss bitch who wants to grind you beneath her stiletto heel.
Browne grew up in Melbourne, Australia to eccentric South African parents. On beach holidays the family would all pile into a VW Kombi van and sing along to her musician father’s Beach Boys records. When Browne hit her troublesome teens she became drawn to the tough-girl posturing of TLC and Salt-N-Pepa, as well as the overwrought stylings of Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey. If you thought a youth choreographing dance routines to Destiny’s Child and En Vogue was a youth misspent, you are about to be proved W.R.O.N.G. A heady batch of populist influences from many decades informs “Pool’s effortless appeal.
Browne’s previous incarnation to this solo effort was as the leading lady of Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes, a high-drama girl-group R&B extravaganza. The band’s head-turning debut album, “Baby Caught The Bus”, exuded Lynch-ian undercurrents, a Fellini vibe, and John Waters sass over a psychedelic mise-en-scène. Melbourne was too small to contain all that chiffon, sequins and hairspray and the use of band’s hit single “Love Letter” in a Heineken commercial and two JC Penney spots that ran during the Oscars helped spread and cement Browne’s international reputation.
For her debut solo album, Browne collaborated with some of the shiniest producers and songwriters in Los Angeles to flesh out Pool’s tracks. Her partner in crime was executive producer and songwriter Amanda Warner, aka MNDR, who has worked with Mark Ronson, DJ Mustard, Rita Ora, Spank Rock and Charli XCX. “It was a really dynamic marriage,” says Browne approvingly, "Amanda and I had a natural bounce right out of the gate.”
MNDR opened her little black book and promptly plugged Browne into a hotbed of LA talent, including Peter Wade (J -Lo, Kid Ink), Rob Kleiner (Sia, The Weeknd), Jimmy Harry (Madonna, Pink), and Jesse Shatkin, aka Belief (Sia, Kylie Minogue, Lily Allen). The resulting effort is a broad-spectrum adult jam.
Writing and recording with a new and diverse group of people, Browne channeled a lineage of fierce women, inspired by the likes of Grace Jones, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Tina Turner. “Boss ass women like that are such a huge inspiration for me every day. The spirit of those artists galvanizes me when I wake up in the morning. They remind me of the power of my agency and motivate me to continue to believe in myself and to sing the music I want to sing,” she says. “The persona I had developed in Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes was partly me and partly my fear. Being somewhat terrified of performing in front of large audiences I needed to transform into someone powerful on-stage. Now, I am not afraid anymore, however I think the idea that I am intimidating is still present.
”Browne isn’t afraid to show you her vulnerability either – take “With You” (“I’m safe and sound in the high notes”) or “Still Goodbye” (“You’ve seen me crack like a fallen china doll”). Having dreamed of becoming an actor since childhood, once Clairy gets into the zone tears will fall. “I’m very literal and quite sensitive,” she says, “if someone talks about being buried alive, I’ll go straight there mentally and start freaking out. My emotions are always lurking just beneath the surface.”
“Pool” also simmers with unabashed feminist anthems, harking back to Browne’s time spent as the blogger behind My Name is Lena, where she wrote about gender politics. “Killem With It”, for one, throws serious shade at the sort of men who shout ou t with unwanted comments, and is a call to arms for women to talk back. Likewise, the liquid-smooth “F.U.B.” shows no mercy to a douche bag caught cheating on his girlfriend. “I don’t think anyone’s written a song about blowing a guy up on social media before,” Browne observes coolly.
Undoubtedly, “Pool” is Clairy Browne at her most carnal and emotive. This can partly be put down to a childhood love of R&B and pop music finally being realized and partly to the dawning of a new era. “It’s about being empowered, exhilarated and feeling free, but at the same time grieving and letting go,” she says of detaching from the past. Right now she has her sights on the world stage. Hell, her bags are already packed.
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