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Meaning of the song ‘Softly’ by ‘Clairo’

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Released: 2019

“Softly” by Clairo is a gorgeously layered pop ballad that explores the tumultuous emotions and intense desire that come with the early stages of a spontaneous love story. Comprising of intimate confessions and deep yearnings, the song paints a vivid picture of a developing relationship that’s existing on the edge of societal acceptability.

Beginning with the contemplative question, “Is it alright to feel this way so early?”, Clairo already hints at a surge of feelings that is arguably moving faster than ‘societal norms’ dictate. Her uncertainty and overwhelming emotions are relatable for anyone who’s grappled with the rollercoaster of falling in love quickly.

The repeated phrase, “Didn’t mean to get so close”, signals that this wasn’t her intent – perhaps she just found herself drawn in unintentionally by this enigmatic individual. And despite her better judgment, she seems unable to walk away from this magnetic attraction.

Delving deeper into the chorus, the line “Touch you softly, I call you up late at night” is emblematic of the hushed, intimate encounters between two people in love. Despite acknowledging that it “isn’t right”, she boldly admits her desires, demonstrating a strong, unabashed articulation of female sexuality often found missing from mainstream pop narratives.

Another layer of rebellion wraps the song when she goes, “And I don’t care what they say”, a common trope in pop music signifying a defiance against society’s judgments or conventions. The notion of ‘doing it differently’ further underscores her rebellious streak, valuing personal authenticity over societal expectations.

In essence, “Softly” is a beautiful testament to an unconventional love story where emotions move fast, the nights are echo chambers of intimate whispers, and societal norms are pushed aside. With her compelling lyrical storytelling, Clairo invites us into a world where romantic spontaneity reigns over caution, celebrating love in all its untamed beauty.

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