Non-binary pop singer-songwriter Claud today (Oct. 25) released their new EP Sideline Star, via The Orchard. The bedroom pop set is an ode to “outsiderdom” at its core. It follows a 2018 EP, released under the name Toast and via Terrible Records, recorded from their college dorm room. After dropping out to pursue music full time, the now 20-year-old singer penned the new record during the “dark period of transition and growth” that followed over the past year.
Next up, Claud will support the release with solo performances at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade (Oct. 25) and ONCE Ballroom in Somerville, Mass. (Oct. 27), before a fall tour in support of The Neighbourhood. Previously, Claud has toured alongside The Maria’s, Triathalon, girl in red and close pal Clairo.
“I identify as queer. I’m non-binary, and I use they/them pronouns,” Claud explains. “I like being outspoken about who I am because I’ve seen the positive effects it has on other kids. So many people, including myself, use music and the internet to learn about themselves through other people’s self-expression and experiences.”
To help celebrate the new release, Claud put together an exclusive Billboard Pride mix — titled “Claud’s Gaylist” — around the theme of identity and self-acceptance, and featuring tracks by Liz Phair, Girlpool, SOPHIE, The Japanese House, SOAK and more.
“If Ellen DeGeneres made music she would be at the top of this playlist. But alas, here are some of my favorite LGBTQ+ artists,” Claud says. “This playlist is a collection of new and old queer anthems that informed my art as well as helped me become the person I am right now.”
Looking back to their early youth, Claud says music was always a tool for self-expression, even before they fully understood their own identity. “Before I had the words to understand and define myself, I sat in my room blasting Liz Phair and cutting holes in my jeans. I learned guitar and piano by plucking along to Brandi Carlile. I got to college, played Girlpool on my weekly radio show, and cried to Shura,” Claud adds. “At the same time, I met one of my closest friends, Clairo (a.k.a. Claire Cottrill), and admired the way she listened to her younger fans and made them feel welcome in her world. Now, I feel so lucky to be apart of a community of artists who embrace their identity and are positively influencing their LGBTQ+ listeners.”
Give the joyful playlist a spin and catch Claud on tour dates this fall.