The opening line on 21-year-old Claud Mintz’s debut album, ‘Super Monster’ sets a romantic tone: “I fell in love like a fool overnight,” they croon. The trouble is, though, that rarely are affairs of the heart that simple. Love is hard and growing up is harder, and at the intersection lies this record, a bedroom-pop coming-of-age saga full of the same level of confusion, frustration, yearning and, occasionally, romance, as the real thing.
Though on opening track ‘Overnight’ they’re giddy in that moment when all the stars seem to finally align, it soon gets a little more complicated. Firstly on ‘Gold’ they realise they want out of a relationship that isn’t giving back as much as they’re putting in, but on ‘Soft Spot’, they’re still loving someone they don’t talk to anymore. Then on ‘Pepsi’, they give a middle finger to a crush who makes them feel inadequate (‘I hate that you told me to masturbate instead of coming over / I hate that I’m riding roller skates and you just bought a Range Rover’). As Claud knows, love is rarely a simple thing.
The honesty and authenticity of these situations gives the album its emotional resonance, but Claud has the bona fide pop ear to back it up – it’s little wonder they were the first signing to Phoebe Bridgers’ new label, Saddest Factory last year. From the evocative melodies to the impenetrable production, there’s a real precision; every vibe is deeply and deliberately measured. The four song run thats starts with ‘Ana’ and ends with ‘Jordan’ is a masterclass in melancholy, pulling on the heartstrings in a way that feels intensely genuine.
Instrumentally and stylistically, ‘Super Monster’ is true to the all-embracing ethos of bedroom pop, with Claud pulling from a wide arsenal of sounds to flit between genre boundaries: some hints of funk-pop and blog rock on ‘Gold’, Latin vibes on ‘In or In Between’ and pop punk on ‘That’s Mr Bitch To You’. At this point, this approach to pop is so widespread that it almost isn’t notable. This is Gen Z; genre tribalism is over, if you want it. But again, it’s the naturalness in how Claud pulls it off that makes ‘Super Monster’ feel so exceptional. Dance, cry, think about someone in particular, fall in love with it overnight.
- Release date: February 12
- Record label: Saddest Factory