Album Review: Chloe Moriondo – ‘Blood Bunny’

Detroit’s Chloe Moriondo grew up on the internet, graduating from thrumming the ukulele on YouTube to being a serious contender on her second album, Blood Bunny. Furnished by revenge fantasies, stoned musings, and everything in between, it holds up against the bedroom pop bigwigs of the era, mixing in a quirky pop-punk lilt for lasting longevity.

Like many young musicians of the present, Chloe Moriondo first gained recognition on YouTube. After recently signing to Fueled By Ramen, Blood Bunny marks their first major-label album after self-releasing the debut album Rabbit Hearted in 2018. Prior to 2021, Moriondo was renowned for soft calming vocals and ukulele indie pop, but for the most part Blood Bunny sees them switch out these stripped-back acoustic lulls for a full-bodied electric sound.

This new sound is logical since Moriondo is now signed to the label of pop-punk legends like Paramore and Fall Out Boy. At just eighteen years old, Blood Bunny sees the Michigan prodigy introduce their own generation to the pop-punk sounds of the early noughties. It is undeniable that Gen-Z is the target audience for this album. Moriondo can be viewed as an artist at the forefront of the recent pop-punk revolution, as a new wave of artists provides Gen-Z with a modern take on the classic genre. The admiration for pop-punk predecessors is evident on tracks like Favorite Band, with lyrics such as “I’m just a kid / Like Simple Plan,” “I could be at home with my headphones and Paramore” and “I should’ve seen it coming / When you said you didn’t like All Time Low.”

‘Like 5 Seconds of Summer provided a gateway into pop-punk for 2013 tweens, Chloe Moriondo could deliver the same to Gen- Z.’

Some of the lyrics may seem a bit cliché to the older listener – “I just don’t like you as much as I like my favorite band” – but have the scope to introduce an entirely new wave of younger fans to the bands referenced within. In the same way that 5 Seconds of Summer provided a gateway into pop-punk for tweens back in 2013, Moriondo could deliver the same to Gen- Z. Even though some of the topics discussed throughout the lyrics may have been rinsed by other pop-punk bands in the past, for many Gen-Z listeners this may be their first introduction to the genre.

Cliches aside, there is no shortage of intelligent and unique song-writing on Blood Bunny, such as the delightfully satirical I Eat Boys which is inspired by the 2009 cult classic film Jennifer’s Body. The song offers a contemporary commentary on the disrespectful members of the male population, accompanied by a simple and pleasant acoustic guitar instrumental. Elsewhere on the tracklist, Moriondo channels acoustic delicacy on Strawberry Blonde, a delicate and beautiful ode to being in love with a girl. This moment provides an element of contrast within the album, showcasing Moriondo’s ability to write intricate and heartfelt lyrics alongside a newfound punky defiance.

Ultimately, the most refreshing moments of the album are achieved when Moriondo is surrounded by a full band, with the singer seeming very comfortable in this previously unfamiliar setting. Highlights include Bodybag, with its irresistibly catchy chorus and memorable sing-along lyrics, and Take Your Time which has larger-than-life, soaring Paramore-esque vocals, complete with anthemic pop-punk “woahs.” Closing track What If It Doesn’t End Well also deserves a mention. After the song’s sparse, climactic build-up, the listener is rewarded with an emotion-drenched and monumental crescendo, closing the album on a euphoric apex. An effect perhaps comparable to the conclusion of Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher with the gut-wrenching I Know The End.

On the topic of sonic resemblance, it’s pretty difficult to ignore the similarities between the vocal styles of Moriondo and Paramore’s Hayley Williams. On mid-track Vapor, the young singer navigates an acrobatic refrain with the soprano measure of their labelmate; the influence of the early naughties punk scene on glorious show. With seething lyricism filtered through a 2021-lens, however, Moriondo manages to provide a youthful Gen-Z take on the classic pop-punk genre. At just eighteen years old, the star has clearly been influenced heavily by predecessors, but if they are able to introduce a whole new generation to the sounds of pop-punk then that might not be an entirely bad thing.

Written by: Gemma Cockrell

Edited by: Olivia Stock

Featured image courtesy of Chloe Moriondo via Facebook.