Claud Super Monster Saddest Factory
Announced late last year as the debut signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ new imprint, Saddest Factory, Claud Mintz could scarcely have hoped for a more auspicious launch for this, their first solo album. The sheer likeability of Super Monster only confirms that the NY-based singer-songwriter would have been more than capable of commanding our attention without the endorsement of one of 2020’s most acclaimed artists.
Building upon the lo-fi foundations of 2019’s Sideline Star EP, this 13-track collection finds Claud adding polish to their big-hearted bedroom-pop, be that with lush synth washes on In Or In Between, or via the crisp percussion powering Gold, without once foregoing a sense of intimacy. Casting the listener as confidante Claud dissects romantic relationships with a startling lack of cynicism, though they also display a knack for self-lacerating humour on a par with their label boss, conceding on Pepsi, “I hate that you told me to masturbate instead of coming over.”
But while the beauty of Bridgers’ work lies in her propensity to wallow, Claud’s songwriting offers catharsis via its youthful zeal and, as the combative pop-punk of That’s Mr Bitch to You proves, is capable of uplifting listeners even while referencing subjects as dark as transphobic abuse. Bittersweet and brightly melodic, with Super Monster Claud has created a universe every bit as vivid as its Daniel Johnston-inspired artwork.