Photography Jeremy Reynoso

Meet Claud, the first artist signed to Phoebe Bridgers’ record label

With their debut album ‘Super Monster’ out soon on Saddest Factory Records, get to know the rainbow-haired popstar.

by Frankie Dunn
10 December 2020, 5:20pm

Photography Jeremy Reynoso

When Claud was really young, their family went on holiday to the middle of nowhere, and visited a restaurant that had a little stage in the corner with a mandolin placed upon it. Claud vividly remembers walking up to the stage, picking up the mandolin and starting to play -- like it was destiny or something. “I had never touched an instrument like that before,” they tell us, “but my parents said I was shockingly good at it.” Still shockingly good at making music, the now 21-year-old Claud has over half a million people streaming their songs on Spotify each month, and an incredibly exciting debut album on the horizon. 

The journey to taking music seriously was a gradual but natural one for Claud. “A few years ago I uploaded a couple demos to SoundCloud and complete strangers started listening, which is something that had never happened to me,” they say. “Then I started playing house shows and fell in love with performing.” DIY shows eventually turned into touring, and the SoundCloud fans multiplied, spreading across other platforms and continents. Claud’s introspective sound — which they describe as “pop music that goes well with a late night snack” (is there a greater combination in the world?) — was proving to be a winning formula. Cue 2020 hits with “Gold”, “My Body” and the massive “WISH U WERE…” and, well, here we are.

Just last week, Claud announced that their debut album, Super Monster, will be released in February 2021. It’s an addictive coming-of-age story set across 13 tracks, with collaborators including former bandmate Joshua Mehling, friend Clairo (who they recently started a band called Shelly with) and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jake Portrait. Better still, it’s coming out on Saddest Factory Records, the new label created by everyone’s fave emo, Phoebe Bridgers, who recently reached out to Claud wearing her A&R hat. “It means the world dude!” Claud says of their new home. “I get to work with a really talented artist who just absolutely gets me and understands the music industry from a perspective most label people don’t.”

The album news came with a fresh song called “Soft Spot”, which, Claud confirms, is about that frustrating feeling of wanting someone you can’t have. “I still hope I run into them, or they randomly text me about something,” they say. “It’s just me romanticising what I can’t have”. And who doesn’t do that on a weekly basis?

With all that and more to come, get to know Claud a little better via these 10 fun facts

1. Claud might be 21, but they certainly don’t feel it
“Sometimes I feel like I’m 200 years old, but most of the time I feel like a baby.”

2. Their forthcoming album Super Monster is named after art
“This summer I got to finish my album at Electric Lady Studios (dream come true!!!!) and the manager there has also been managing Daniel Johnston’s artwork with his brother since he passed last year. The manager found a sketch of Daniel’s from like 2014 that said ‘Claud the Super Monster’ and I was just blown away so I asked them if I could use the name.”

3. But it almost had a different title altogether
“There’s a song on the record called ‘That’s Mr. Bitch To You’, so I wanted to call the entire album that.”

4. Claud knows what movies their album would be a good soundtrack for
Back To The Future, Breakfast Club, and any A24 film.”

5. So far, Claud’s hair has been brown, red, bleached, green and turquoise.
“I think I'm gonna stick with blue and green for a while now though.”

6. When Claud was 16, they worked in a toy store 
“It was a toy store that had been around since I was a kid and they hired me the summer it went out of business. I think I was mediocre at my job. I socialised a lot with the customers and got a couple babysitting gigs from it. Don’t think I sold many toys though.” 

7. Don’t go gifting Claud a Christmas cheese selection anytime soon
“I’m SERIOUSLY lactose intolerant.”

8. Turns out they have a "Soft Spot" for just about everything at the moment
“EVERYTHING makes me weepy right now. Because of the pandemic there are friends and family I haven’t seen in almost a year! I’m nostalgic for life before COVID, I guess.”

9. Claud remembers their dreams every single night
“In the last one I had a high school reunion in the school gymnasium… yikes!” 

10. In some ways, they’ve grown in 2020. In others, not so much
“I wish I could say I’ve grown taller but I haven’t. My hair has grown though, as well as my tolerance to be alone… I’m getting much better at being ok with that.”

Claud’s album ‘Super Monster’ is out 12 February 2021 on Saddest Factory Records. Until then, follow i-D on Instagram and Tiktok for entertainment

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