On the first listen of Super Monster, the debut from Claud - the first thoughts that will cross your mind are “what a dream.” That’s really the best way to describe the stellar debut by the suburban Chicago native Claud Mintz. It’s a seamless, pop record that’s a pure joy to listen to.
After originally releasing an EP under the name of Toast in 2018, Mintz both enrolled in and eventually dropped out of Syracuse University after their career took off and signed with as the first artist on Phoebe Bridgers Saddest Factory imprint. It’s no surprise why Bridgers rolled the dice here. This record is awesome.
“Overnight” begins with effervescent drums, keys and guitars as Mintz’s voice rides the melody. It’s a fun opener that both disarms (the album title is Super Monster, after all) as much as it engages. The similarly bouncy “Gold” gives the same effect, even if the lyrics imply it’s a kiss-off. “In Or In-Between” is showstopper with it’s peaking falsetto that dives into a vocal that sounds underwater, a paean looking for clarity within a relationship.
Then there’s the nostalgic “Cuff Your Jeans,” a stormy song talking about what sounds like a summer love ending as college begins - “In August you'll go north/I’m still in Northbrook Court/And maybe one day, I'll get to take you here”. (Has a lyric ever sounded more real to suburban Chicagoan? Take it from one - no.)
Any way you put it, Super Monster is just a really cool record - expertly crafted songs, tasteful, sophisticated production and melodies that will stick in your ears. It’s a record good for any time - especially as we enter a new year. It’s a nice reminder that the sun continues to rise on our dark times. Claud is here to remind us of that, even when they’re talking about the most personal of experiences. It will be so exciting to hear what they have to offer next.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media
Listen to Super Monster