By Ella Mastroianni, Staff Writer
Everyone’s favorite 5-foot-tall artist is back! Claud Mintz, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter better known just as Claud, released their sophomore album Supermodels on July 14th, 2023 with Saddest Factory Records. The album, complete with 13 songs, rounds out at a little over 38 minutes, featuring indie-pop and indie-rock tracks that give the listener a look at what lies beneath Claud’s surface, as well as encouraging listeners to take an honest look at themselves. Uncertainty and indecision are recurring themes throughout the album, and nothing showcases these more than the third track, “A Good Thing.”
“A Good Thing,” was written by Claud and Dan Wilson, who is best known as the lead singer for Semisonic. This was the first collaboration between the two songwriters. Wilson co-produced the song alongside returning collaborators Roger Kleinman and Zachary Seman, known together as Zach & Roger.
While objectively being an upbeat, eventually loud song, “A Good Thing,” has something that other songs falling under those classifications don’t tackle — subconscious fear.
There is so much fear in the atmosphere of this song. Each lyric is filled with doubt, beginning at the start, with Claud’s voice over a simple guitar, and concluding with a cacophony of chaotic synth sounds.
The song begins with the lyrics “You're at my house, but I feel gone,” immediately placing the listener in a discomforting idea. Claud expresses caring for this person, presumably their partner, but it is only in the shadow of their own doubt. The song isn’t about the partner, but more of a look at Claud themself, and what has been festering beneath all the moments with their partner that have accumulated, adding to their uncertainty in the relationship.
In verse two, the lyric “And can I sip with my coat on? It doesn’t mean I’m gonna run,” emphasizes Claud’s ability to consciously ignore that they feel ready to leave this situation; they have their coat on, ready to leave, but they aren’t contemplating leaving as a real option.
Both verses implicate issues with the existing relationship dynamic, whereas the chorus shoves them aside to deliver an entirely new message: “What if we just leave a good thing alone?” The song floats in this limbo where the narrator is trying to convince themself things are alright when they are more than likely not. They don’t want to risk tampering with a good thing, as it has the potential to not be so good anymore. They perpetuate this uncertainty because they are scared of what their subconscious already knows.
The bridge of the song rips apart the narrative that Claud has been internally telling themself. It’s left undeniable that they do need to “look too close,” even though they are pleading (to the listener or themself) not to. The bridge additionally showcases some self-criticism, with Claud wondering if they messed up the so-called “good thing” and caused the eventual descent. The question, “Were we always hell-bound,” is essentially Claud wondering if any of it was worth it.
The song ends with the last two lines from the chorus, “We're looking for the answers to the questions that we're asking, but we'll never know.” Bringing these lines back to close the track intensifies Claud’s inner conflict. They continue to show indecision, not finding an answer, but nevertheless making a decision to ignore concealed problems.
PAUL RUDD’S FERRET
I feel I’d be doing a disservice to neglect to talk about the music video for “A Good Thing,” released on July 14th alongside the album. The music video stars Claud, as themself, as well as actor Paul Rudd, as an off-center mailman, who for the first minute and a half of the music video attempts to drop off Claud’s mail. Eventually, he gives Claud a package from their girlfriend which prompts Rudd to say, “Girlfriend? I wish I had a girlfriend. I just have a ferret.”
There’s some irony in Rudd appearing in the music video for this song; another song on the album is literally titled “Paul Rudd.” However, it makes sense that he takes on an insecure, awkward role in the mailman because it is very much the opposite of what Claud sees in Rudd. They shared a TikTok a day after the release of the video stating that with the song “Paul Rudd,” they were trying to envision themself as, "This cool and confident, charismatic, lovable character," like they envision Rudd to be.
In the video for “A Good Thing,” after Rudd leaves Claud with a package, Claud opens it, revealing a handmade sweater from their girlfriend. It is a blue-green-yellow sweater (reflecting the colors of their debut album, Super Monster) and throughout the video it begins to unravel, mirroring the collapse of the relationship vocalized in the song. They go on a walk, the yarn trailing behind them, caught up in the joy of the walk, because why would they look back? Why would they fix it, if they didn’t think it was broken; or couldn’t see that it was? The relationship is visualized by this sweater, mere threads by the end, and only then does Claud realize that there’s a problem.
MORE GOOD THINGS
Claud played at Brighton Music Hall in Boston on their “Super Monstour,” back in early 2022, and recently, on September 17th they came back for part one of their Supermodels tour. At the show, they said that they love playing here, so I’m sure they’ll be back in Boston soon enough.
“Good Thing,” is overall a very upbeat and catchy song to listen to, although the song isn’t what it pretends to be at the surface. Underneath the light and bouncy music, lies the answer that Claud is trying so hard to avoid. I love this song because to the listener, it is clear that the narrator is in denial, and because of that it invites the listener to look more deeply at themselves, to pick at things they may not want to. It is contemporary, while also delivering a message that isn’t necessarily being communicated in other songs being released at the moment. And very plainly, it's so much fun to listen to!
Part one of Claud’s tour is wrapping up in Los Angeles on October 20th, and they recently released a cover of Paramore’s “Crave” on the 5th of October. While it doesn’t seem like they will be releasing new content anytime soon, rest assured that their existing discography can confidently fill that gap. And in the future, there will be more good things to come.
Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!