"Tommy" by Claud ~ Song Review

Claud always serves up sonic dreamscapes in their music. They came onto my radar when they opened for Bleachers when I saw them in LA, and I really enjoyed their set. In my very short, stressed-college-student memory, I quickly forgot that I intended to dive into their music once I got home. Luckily, Dan Nigro, my favorite producer, worked on their latest release, and I was promptly reminded of my original intention. 

"Tommy" is the perfect devastating, darkly dreamy track about being the second choice yet still having the person come back to you over and over again. The opening verse leans on the classic songwriting tool of metaphor to set the listener in the scene of being the first and second choice all at the same time. "I'm a party in the village you make fun of with your friends / But you show up time and time again," they sing. It so aptly communicates a nearly intangible, horrible feeling. 

The chorus leans into a heart-wrenching description of knowing that even when they're with you, they're just trying to pretend you're the person they actually want. "When you say my name / It don't hold the weight / Like it does when you talk about Tommy / Touch my body like I'm Tommy," the chorus goes in part. Is it worse to have them in any empty way or not at all when you know deep down that they don't love you? Using a specific name, whether stolen from real life like "Julia" (both the one by Lauv and the one by Jeremy Zucker) or "Heather" (by Conan Gray) or imaginary like "Emily" (by Chelsea Cutler and Jeremy Zucker), attaching a name makes a song infinitely more personal.

Speaking of "Heather," "Tommy" features a sweater debacle of its own. In the second half of the second verse, Claud sings, "There was the time you wore the jacket / I asked if it was new / You tried to lie and hide / Who gave it to you." There's something particularly fascinating about the dynamics of shared clothing in a relationship and an intimacy level there that that makes these kinds of lyrics extra emotionally stabby. This anecdote fills out this relationship between Claud and the love interest further and points out more mundane trip ups along the way as well as the major revelations of the chorus. 

This track is raw, relatable, and painfully aware of all the moving pieces of the situation. This is the first new release for Claud since their debut album, and having just wrapped the Bleachers tour, announced a long headline run, and picked up a new collaborator in Nigro, it seems like a new chapter is just beginning to open. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. 

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