ENTERTAINMENT

In Super Monster, Claud Charmfully Soundtracks Your Messy, Queer Coming Of Age Journey

We chat to the indie-pop artist about being an introvert and how a song came to them in a dream.

When Claud first dropped Wish You Were Gay, a single about falling for your straight friend, everyone in the queer community felt seen. The music video, a side-to-side comparison of the bright-eyed expectations of hanging out with your crush at a party vs the sad reality that you’re really just gonna be a plus one to their date, felt ripped from the tweets of our private Twitter accounts, but also showed that the five foot tall non-binary artist with turquoise-coloured hair was one of us and was giving all of us awkward angsty teens a voice.

WATCH: Claud – Gold (Official Video)

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Over the past few years, we’ve seen a community of incredible, young queer indie-pop musicians rise the charts—and our hearts—and Claud is no exception. As the first person to be signed onto Saddest Factory, a new label by Phoebe Bridgers—the Queen of Sad Girl lyrics—and within the same rising genre as BENEE and Beabadobee, they are an artist you need to be shuffling on your daily Spotify playlist.

And in their debut studio album, Super Monster, Claud grows even further relatable, bringing you the soundtrack to your 2021 romance woes and journey of self-discovery. On In Or In-Between, Claud sings about the early moments into a new relationship when you’re not sure whether they’re interested and the anxiety and emotional torment you go through because of it. Elsewhere on That’s Mr. B*tch To You, Claud brings on their pal Melanie Faye to amp themselves up and clap-back at people calling them a b*tch, “Bet you didn’t know, I won’t let a straight man throw me off.”

As someone who grew up in the extremely online years of influencer culture and TikTok stardom, Claud is a generally shy and reserved person. Before they found their queer family, they told Girlfriend they struggled with confidence, that token shy kid in the corner at the regular house party. “I was scared to be the outspoken one or be the confident one at the party,” they recalled. “I was shy and would just stand back, observing everything that was going on and what was happening around me.”

That experience led them to become an observer of their surroundings—a personality trait a few of us shy folks can relate to. But, never fear introverts, that side of Claud is what’s made them an exceptionally self-aware and confessional lyricist who’s in touch with their emotions. “Writing is a super cathartic thing for me,” they say. “I do it to heal, and I do it to process emotions. So naturally, my songs end up being a bit more honest.”

And while their music is generally for the girls, the gays and the theys, their lyrics speak to anyone who’s gone through heartbreak and heartache, awkward moments of identity and self-confidence. In Cuff Your Jeans—a reference to the joke that cuffing your jeans is bisexual culture, but also one of the best slaps of the album—Claud writes about the universal experience of missing somebody, and that feeling that life just continues to get in the way.

As in, to the point where you’re left lying in bed at 3am with nobody but your sleep paralysis to keep you company, wondering, ‘when am I ever going to be able to see this person again?’ It’s a feeling we’ve all felt as we grow up, move schools and fall into different cliques, but an even greater fear during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in those early days here in Australia.

Claud
Claud reminding us that yes, cow print *is* in. (Credit: Positive Feedback.)

And sonically, Super Monster is a multi-flavoured beast, blending moody drum-kick heavy and bass guitar led sounds on Pepsi and Guard Down with dreamy soft vocals. So, it isn’t that surprising to hear that one of their songs came to them “in a dream.”

“I have really vivid dreams, and I can remember every detail of them all the time,” Claud confesses. 

“I had this one dream, like, a year and a half ago where I was trying to get on this train, and I kept missing the train. Random things kept stopping the bus from coming and picking me up. I was trying to get to my destination, but I couldn’t. There were all these obstacles.” 

“[When I woke up,] I wrote down the dream, almost every detail I remembered of it and then, it just so happened that during the pandemic, I remembered the dream and wrote about it. But yeah, [Cuff Your Jeans] is totally like that feeling of like I’m stuck here and I’m scared I’m never gonna get to see somebody again.”

Claud’s Super Monster is available to stream here.

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