The next generation of pop artists are defining a new genre for themselves: bedroom pop. The label most likely got its name from Clairo’s viral “Pretty Girl” , which was filmed entirely on a laptop webcam in her bedroom. Since then, has expanded to include any new artist with lo–fi electronics and contemplative lyrics. While there are male artists making music under this new category, some of the best work comes from the women behind it. So next time you need to waste an hour or two with a mini existential crisis in your own bedroom, put these female artists on in the background.
At only twenty years old, Clairo already has several viral hits and a sold–out Bowery Ballroom show under her belt. Her song “4Ever” is a perfect encapsulation of the angst and uncertainty that comes with young love and romanticism. The repeated “on” of the chorus’s question loses its meaning as Clairo gently sings it over a percussion–heavy synthesized rhythm. Her music has a hint of the '80s and '90s nostalgia that’s so popular today, but slowed down with low–key millennial introspection.
Soccer Mommy is the project of Nashville–native Sophie Allison. Her guitar–centric music makes this version of bedroom pop a bit more rock heavy, but the soothing sound of her voice balances the aggressions of her chords and lyrics. Allison has her fair share of love songs on her 2018 album Clean, but the best off the record are “Your Dog,” and “Cool,” songs about girls who demand more respect and fairness in relationships.
Snail Mail’s first full–length album Lush came out last June to rave reviews. Lead singer Lindsey Jordan’s voice is unsettled and longing, expressing the innocent mixture of hopefulness and disappointment that everyone feels at some point in their own adolescence. The dreamy guitar lines in the band’s song “Heat Wave” are a gentle guide into the oblivion of memory, especially perfect for a late summer morning in pinstriped bedding with coffee in hand.
This band is the least like bedroom pop on the list, but still worth including for its humbly stripped–down music and folk–inspired lyrics of lead singer Adrianne Lenker. Their 2017 album Capacity made waves in the indie rock world with songs like “Shark Smile,” and “Mythological Beauty.” In the second of the two, Lenker weaves in and out of her own memories, from looking at nighttime headlights out of her bedroom window to gashing her head open when she was five. Her personal introspection follows the half–talking, half–singing of most younger bedroom pop artists, and Lenker’s work with Big Thief is undoubtedly an inspiration for the leaders of this new genre.
This quirky variation on folk–pop started out as the solo project of Frankie Cosmos frontwoman Greta Kline. Her lyrics sometimes seem nonsensical, and the melodies simple, but nonetheless she has become an icon of bedroom pop. Her music is short and sweet, with most of the songs being only about two minutes in length. Being a self–starter, Kline knows that sometimes, less is more, and the most beautiful lyrics don’t have to be metaphorical or complex. They can be as simple as her singing “I love you so,” over a strumming guitar.