“Super Monster” marks the 13-track debut from Claud, an artist from the northern Chicago suburbs. Released on Feb. 12, the album highlights a youthful perspective on love, from hopeful beginnings to dismal heartache, all with upbeat music that can bring a warm sound to the gloomiest of days.
Despite “Super Monster” being the debut for both Claud — who uses they/them pronouns — and Saddest Factory Records, a record label started by singer Phoebe Bridgers, it has gained attention from notable musicians like Paramore’s Hayley Williams and duo Tegan and Sara. The album is a stellar showcase of Claud’s ability to craft memorable melodies and clever lyrics to tell vulnerable stories of love and loss.
“Super Monster” opens with “Overnight,” detailing the anxieties and hope that come with the beginning of a relationship. Over pizza and coffee, the excitement unfolds.
“I fell in love like a fool overnight,” Claud laments. “I fell behind, can’t keep up with real life.”
The third track, “Soft Spot,” is indicative of the conflicting emotions held by most of the album. The chorus highlights Claud’s weakness for the song’s focus, but it quickly appears that these feelings are still present after the conclusion of the relationship. The music video reflects this, showing Claud stuck in the back of a moving truck driven by the other person, who is actively moving on.
“You made it clear that it’s over now / But you’re all that I think about,” Claud sings as they reveal the unrequited nature of their feelings.
Moving on is the focal point of “Cuff Your Jeans,” the third single released for “Super Monster.” This track shows Claud’s search for someone in the process of growing up, attempting to avoid that change by reminiscing on shared experiences. Though “Soft Spot” may have shown an unsuccessful attempt to stay close to someone, “Cuff Your Jeans” presents the potential for continued connection.
“Ana” and “This Town” offer two sides of the same coin — the first outlining a break-up to pursue another opportunity and the latter describing a break-up after realizing they stayed in a situation that was no longer healthy. “Ana,” however, describes an obligation to leave out of fear of disappointing their partner and a motivation present that encourages them to make this change.
“If I don’t ever take this chance then / I should never have been your man,” Claud sings on “Ana.”
“This Town” reflects the need for growth that necessitates leaving a relationship. After recognizing they lack the desire to work for the relationship, Claud reveals plans to leave the town that represents the barriers the relationship presented.
“You don’t need to track me down,” Claud comments in “This Town,” “‘Cause anywhere the wind blows / That’s the way I’ll go.”
The final song, “Falling With The Rain,” wraps up the album with an exhibit of the contrasting emotion present throughout. The joy of the opening song “Overnight” ceases here, with Claud forced to let go of their feelings and move on.
“I know sometimes I start falling with the rain,” Claud begins in “Falling With The Rain.” “Give me some time so I can fall back into place.”
Though it doesn’t tell a chronological story, these two songs display a cycle of feelings present in the album and show Claud falling out of those pervasive feelings to sit back where they were before “Overnight” began.
Claud’s bravery shines throughout the entire album. The music is catchy but seems to exist as a vehicle for Claud’s vocals, which consistently shine in “Super Monster.” Claud skillfully shares their talent for writing, performing and producing music, marking this as an exceptional debut.
The captivating openness and emotion, paired with bright music, makes an album perfect for coping with winter blues. “Super Monster” is a treat for listeners looking for an uninhibited, coming-of-age reflection on love.
“Super Monster” is available for streaming on Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming services.