North & South America, Australia
Tom WindishContact Agent
about the artist
No matter your age or station, Supermodels is the sort of record you can hear yourself in. Claud's engrossing, poignant, and often pointedly funny second album is a confident diary of the mercury of life and love in one's early 20s, whether it's the self-doubt that creeps through its tunes or the place of compromise they try to find. Imagine yourself in a crowded concert hall, singing along to the poppy web of acoustic frustration "It's Not About You" or the beautifully resilient "Spare Tire," which sublimates old sadness into new strength as it lands several wonderfully wry turns ofMore
No matter your age or station, Supermodels is the sort of record you can hear yourself in. Claud's engrossing, poignant, and often pointedly funny second album is a confident diary of the mercury of life and love in one's early 20s, whether it's the self-doubt that creeps through its tunes or the place of compromise they try to find. Imagine yourself in a crowded concert hall, singing along to the poppy web of acoustic frustration "It's Not About You" or the beautifully resilient "Spare Tire," which sublimates old sadness into new strength as it lands several wonderfully wry turns of phrase. Through the sea of twisted faces, Claud makes eye contact and grins, all sly and sweet and sad. That's how Supermodels feels — an intimate connection, a chuckle and a sigh, gifted amid all this isolating noise.
Claud began Supermodels at the end. In late 2021, they released their winning debut, Super Monster, and soon found life turned upside down. People key to their happiness at home had recently split, their most immediate support networks now a void. So, of course, they started writing, using not only their new acoustic guitar (a rare one, but so desiccated from the city's winter it wouldn't stay in tune) but also a second-hand upright piano recently wedged inside the apartment (free, but tuned hopelessly down, with multiple missing octaves.)
Still, Claud loved these "three-legged animals," somehow in tune with one another. "A useless mess I call myself/A useless hand that I've been dealt," Claud soon cooed above them on the deceptively spry "All Over," a song about being able to imagine little but the end. And then, at the close of the moving and mighty farewell exhalation "Screwdriver," they admitted, "I'm thinking about moving out of New York." Claud had Supermodels' end; now, for the rest.
Claud's apartment, with that stubborn acoustic guitar and worn piano, came to represent something of a map of the emotional and logistical vicissitudes they'd encountered in their early 20s — not unlike Supermodels itself. Fissures in romances and friendships, pressures of recording careers, the casualties of growing up, the laugh lines of life: Each of these 13 songs, as Claud puts it, is another articulated journal entry, threaded together with scant regard for genre and with the roller-coaster of feeling that gives each tune such specific gravity.
Supermodels frames these struggles — and the quest to carry on through them with a crooked smile — from the start. Opener "Crumbs" begins with gorgeous infatuation, scenes from their first taste of domesticity, delivered tenderly over soft chords and sparkling electronics. For Claud, this was always a love song, at least until they realized it might actually be a siren's song. It lures you into its beautiful, happy world, then pulls you deeper toward the dark as you take a second look. That phenomenon was how Claud knew it had to go first, the start of this tragicomic chronicle. Uncertainty permeates "Every Fucking Time," too, an anthemic interrogation of a relationship's terms and conditions that somehow triangulates Avril, Oasis, and Taylor in less than three minutes. As Claud sits in the bar after hours defending Regina Spektor to a partner, they wonder if this other person is all hot air and broken promises — or, just maybe, Claud is overanalyzing another good thing again. (More on that in a bit.)
Then there's the shimmering rock of "Paul Rudd," where they're stranded by a lover who "want[s] me like fall leaves, to come around once a year." It's a shitty situation, but Claud manages it with quick jokes, channeling just a little of the romcom star-turned-superhero's likeability inside this tough moment. "The Moving On" documents a protracted breakup with crisscrossed piano lines and a splendid pop-punk hook. Claud makes space to take a winking shot at the someone else, that "upstate art-school pessimist." You may find yourself choosing sides, cheering for Claud with a big grin.
These are familiar topics for Claud, covering some of the same terrain as 2021's Super Monster. But there is a newfound aplomb, rendered in structures and hooks that do not equivocate as they move from frowning folk to boisterous pop to twisted piano curios. Genre becomes Claud's playground, an obstacle course full of supposed barriers to climb over and cavort upon. Where Super Monster was rendered mostly in their childhood bedroom, Supermodels was carved out in an apartment of their own, with a team of confidants and collaborators building them into resplendent productions.
And how could Claud not be more assured, after all, when they collaborated with Dan Wilson of Semisonic, a band they've been covering for the better part of a decade? The pair finished several songs together in a feverish session. The cut here, "A Good Thing," is one of the most guileless and magnetic numbers in Claud's catalog, a bittersweet sugar rush about wanting to fall all the way into a relationship that seems strong but instead overthinking everything entirely until maybe you ruin what was indeed a good thing. Claud still finds ways to laugh at the situation, though — the exhausting tedium of dating ("In the kitchen mixing drinks/I'd quit stirring but I'd fall asleep") and the uneven terrain of figuring it out ("You piss me off, you turn me on"). Maybe the bad parts do make for the best punchlines?
Supermodels takes its name from "Screwdriver," one of the first two songs Claud wrote for the record. "You caught me looking at photographs of supermodels," they sing, voice rising slowly over the elegiac line penned on that free and broken piano. "Trying not to cry when I look back at myself." It's a staggering little moment, a reminder of the ways we are all working to stop seeing ourselves as less than and not equal to, to beat back a dozen different insecurities that we try to store in the deepest recesses of our facade. But Claud doesn't hide anything on Supermodels. Here are all the feelings of these last few years, set first to page and then to songs we can all share. They are kernels of despair, redemption, wit, and, ultimately, insight, here to remind us we're neither the first nor the last to face these blues and keep going.