Claud’s “Sideline Star”
Claud Mintz is a rising star in the independent music community, as well as the LGBTQ+ community. They have proudly discussed and explored their nonbinary identity in their songs in a raw and honest manner, making their songs deeply personal, and appealing to those longing for authenticity. In 2019, Claud released their solo album “Sideline Star”. This album includes eight songs in total, some of which are accompanied by creative music videos on Youtube. All of these songs feature themes of longing, loneliness, and melancholy, creating a sort of nostalgic catharsis for the listener.
“Sideline Star” opens with the song “Do You need Me?”, a song that is tinged with a slight loneliness as the lyrics ask: “Do you need me?/Or do you need somebody else?” The acoustic backing, addition of strings, and harmonies give the song an innocent, organic feel. Next up is “Online”, which introduces a more electric sound with its thrumming bass and synth usage. This song features a satisfying musical crescendo that leads up to the recognizable sound of a notification “ding”. This all thematically corresponds to the lyrics, which repeat “All my time/ Is spent online”. It is incredibly catchy, and is definitely the sort of song one could dance to at a party. The next song on the album, “Miss You”, is accompanied by a vibrant music video online, featuring brightly-colored, almost childlike drawings. This reflects the nostalgia and aesthetically pleasing nature of the song. It creates a compelling effect, as the simplicity of Claud’s lyrics allow for the expression of the most basic yet powerful human emotions.
“Want to” is another upbeat sounding track, this time with a moderately slow pace. The music video features travel clips of locations around the world, giving it a breezy, summer mood. The song “Wish You Were Gay” is arguably the best on the album. A melancholy anthem for LGBTQ+ unrequited love, the song’s narrator longs for the affection of their straight love interest. The heartbreaking nature of the song is amplified through Claud’s soft vocal delivery of emotionally raw lyrics such as : “I wish you were gay/ so you could just hold me”. The experience of this song is greatly enhanced by the music video, which highlights the stark contrast between the expectations and realities of love. The album’s titular track, “Sideline Star” has a music video that features Claud riding a bike through a suburb, matching the chill, nostalgic tone of the album. In “Just to Forget” and the corresponding video, Claud reflects on the past events of their adolescence and teen years. The chorus conveys the pain and importance of memory; “Fucked up my head/ just to forget”. In “I Don’t See What You See”, Claud finishes the album with another track with soft and gentle harmonies as well as the sound of smooth electric guitar in the background. This allows Claud to showcase their powerful and expressive voice.
Overall, “Sideline Star” includes a variety of emotions and musical tools as it explores loneliness, longing and nostalgia. Those who enjoy indie pop and aestheticism should consider adding these tracks to their playlist.
Claud's Instagram: @claud.mp3
Written By Gracie Nordgren