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Live Review: SG Lewis and Clairo's 'Better' is a hit from two future superstars

12 July 2018 | 10:10 am | Kyle Fensom

Rising stars SG Lewis and Clairo team up for 'Better', a track that sounds like two future superstars collaborating a few years early

Prodigious British producer SG LEWIS and teen viral sensation CLAIRO have teamed up for a fortuitous single, ‘Better’. The collaboration arrives at a pivotal moment in each artists’ career, offering up promising glimpses of where their respective careers might take them; It sounds like a mainstream-crossover hit from two future superstars that we’re getting a few years early. As it is, ‘Better’ is an iridescent, breezy synth-bop that pits itself as the less-commercialised, less-saturated answer to ZEDD and MAREN MORRIS’ ‘The Middle’.

19-year-old Clairo built buzz after the raw, webcam-shot video for her 2017 single, ‘Pretty Girl’ went viral. The video, which simply features Clairo in her room dancing and singing along to the lyrics, perfectly encapsulates what’s so appealing about her lo-fi bedroom pop: it’s a strikingly honest, charmingly messy ode to being your best, most flawed self, acne, greasy hair, last-night’s-makeup-still-on and all. She’s built an internet following by being her most relatable self, but she’s also been open about how her sound and aesthetics have been dictated by the limited resources available to her as well as her intentions as an artist to grow beyond this. If this is Clairo’s goal, then she more than achieves it on ‘Better’, moving away from the hushed R&B sounds of her debut, diary 001, as she delivers her most polished vocal performance yet.

Lewis, meanwhile, is currently focused on his ongoing, three-part Dusk, Dark, Dawn project. Centred around the concept of imagining the trajectory of a night out, the first part - Dusk - utilised styles of disco, west coast hip-hop and 80s synth-pop to set the scene, where the producer is set to move into heavier styles of techno and rap on the project’s imminent second installment - Dark. ‘Better’ doesn’t belong to any of these but it’s not hard to see why the pair felt the irresistible pull to release it as a standalone single anyway.

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Both artists careers - where they’re at, where they’ve been and where they’re going - meet each other on ‘Better’: With tasteful disco production, pulsing, poolside synths and a slinky groove that coasts the track along, Lewis casts Clairo’s vocals in resplendent, widescreen vision whilst still retaining the slightly husky, dreamy qualities of her voice that make it such a relatable instrument.

On the track’s inception, Clairo reflects: "Sam is one of the most talented producers I know. We met the same day that we made this song, and just clicked instantly. “Better” is one of the first real steps I’ve made into ‘pop music’ and this collab feels like a match made in heaven!”. Lewis explains: “I played Clairo the instrumental and she jumped on it straight away! The process was so natural, I kept the beat unquantized from the jam as I felt like it gave the record an old disco feel”.

On 'Better', the careers of SG Lewis and Clairo intersect with each other at the most exciting point of their trajectory, just before they break through to the stratosphere.

SG Lewis is about to head out on his debut Australian tour later this month - find all the info below:

IMAGE: Supplied