by Lexi Anderson
Claud’s debut album Super Monster is a dreamy anthology of love and longing. Combing the hallmark smooth synth of bedroom pop with indie’s soft acoustics, Claud composes everything from slow, melodic ballads (“Rocks At Your Window”) to songs of upbeat redemption (“That’s Mr. Bitch To You”), creating a well-rounded and well-executed project.
As the first artist signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ Saddest Factory Records, 21-year-old Chicago native Claud Mintz has been releasing music since 2018, originally under the pseudonym Toast. Super Monster is their first full length album, displaying a care and refinement that will come to define the artist as a leader in the bedroom pop genre.
The opening track “Overnight” serves as an introduction to the album’s core themes. With lyrics of endless daydreaming and the giddiness of new love superimposed over steady drums and easy, meandering guitar, “Overnight” borrows elements from new-age indie pop while retaining a nostalgia reminiscent of 2000s love ballads. Perfectly encapsulating the butterflies of a first kiss with distorted, idealistic vocals, the exposition to Super Monster parallels the dizzy sweetness of the start of a relationship.
Conceptually, the album displays an incredibly well-thought-out collection. While maintaining a consistency in style and subject matter, Super Monster artfully dodges the trap of monotony that bedroom pop artists often fall victim to. A perfect representation of the roller-coaster of relationships, Super Monster illustrates the deep-rooted emotions that come with falling, loving, and letting go.
Defining all the stages of a relationship, the album highlights the peaks and pitfalls of love in the modern world. In “Overnight,” Claud sings of first kisses and persistent thoughts, with lyrics such as, “I thought you would never finish the slice on your plate / But then you leaned in and the nerves went away.” Following the arc of the relationship to “Gold,” the luster of new love has dulled, illustrating the pain of realizing a one-sided relationship through a funky bassline and repeating chorus: “Don’t say you were there when you weren’t / ‘Cause I don’t think you were there when I was hurting.” By the third track, “Soft Spot,” Claud chronicles the lingering feelings that follow a breakup and the heartache that comes with loving someone they don’t see anymore. From the bitterness in “Pepsi” (“I hate that you told me to masturbate instead of comin’ over/ I hate that I’m riding roller-skates and you just bought a Range Rover”) to the spunky Avril Lavigne-esque guitar in “That’s Mr. Bitch To You,” Super Monster perfectly captures the sharp nostalgia of a coming-of-age romance.
Claud’s debut album Super Monster artfully tells a story of love and heartbreak through an arc of synth-laden ballads and upbeat indie pop, marking the burgeoning artist with a sign of success. Super Monster stands on its own as one of the most unique bedroom pop albums of the year so far, setting a precedent of colorful storytelling and masterful musicality for Claud’s future works.