REVIEW: ‘Super Monster’ is an empowering debut for indie-pop artist Claud

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The weather outside is frightful, but Claud’s debut album is simply delightful. “Super Monster” is the first release from Saddest Factory Records, the imprint label started by Phoebe Bridgers.

Claud Mintz is a 21-year-old indie-pop artist from Chicago, Illinois, and was the first artist signed to Saddest Factory Records back in October. They first started releasing music under the pseudonym Toast back in 2018.

“Super Monster” addresses relationships, self-discovery and patriarchal society while maintaining a bedroom pop-esque sound. These songs are perfect for a relaxing drive with the windows down — if they weren’t frozen shut, that is.

Opening the album with simple drum hits and glittering guitar riffs, “Overnight” tells the story of two people falling in love in an instant. Claud sings, “I know that I jumped into your arms so quick / But everything feels better when you jump right in.”

On the flip side, “Gold” is an oddly soothing slap in the face, calling out the people who weren’t there for them. This bass-heavy song features reverberating synths and echoing vocals, repeating the frustrations of an angry and rejected youth.

“Soft Spot” and “Jordan” feel like nostalgia personified. Both create a sense of longing, with “Soft Spot” acting as the memory of love already gone, and “Jordan” as a last-ditch effort to hold onto love before it fades away entirely. These songs are perfect for reminiscing on past relationships.

Written from the perspective of a 40-year-old man, “Ana” focuses on the man’s mid-life crisis, deciding to leave his wife and travel the world. While he still loves Ana, he feels like he has to find himself — by himself. The song is acoustic-driven with layered vocals in the chorus, creating a soundtrack-style anthem.

My favorite song off the album is “That’s Mr. B*tch To You,” which gives off the angsty alt-pop vibe of the 90s, complete with a bouncy guitar solo by Melanie Faye. The song calls out men who use “b*tch” as a derogatory slur, with Claud reclaiming the word. They sing “Honestly, I’m glad you had the balls / To get up in my face just like a dog.”

The final song on the album, “Falling With the Rain,” opens with soft guitars and vocals before the chorus introduces an energetic baseline and percussive cymbals. Claud closes the album acknowledging that even when they feel down, they always bounce back, singing “I know sometimes I start falling with the rain / Give me some time so I can fall back into place.”

“Super Monster” is a balanced mix of soothing, upbeat and relatable music. The 13-track album is engaging without overwhelming the listener. Let the melody and lyrics soak in as you listen to Claud’s debut album, taking in the youthful — yet mature — essence of this industry up-and-comer.

Jared Shuff is the Collegian culture editor and a junior in secondary education. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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My name is Jared Shuff, and I am the current editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I worked as the arts & culture editor and as a contributing writer for the news desk. I am a senior in secondary education with an emphasis in English/journalism. I grew up in Hutchinson, Kansas, and attended Hutchinson Community College before transferring to K-State in 2020.