Credit: Kat Sophia

Lemon drop walls, purple hair, a deep rose eyeshadow, looking straight through the screen.

This was how I was first introduced to Chloe Moriondo, performing her serene cover of  “Take Me To Church.” Glazing soft harmonies over hooks, Moriondo was known to most at this point as an angelic singer with a yellow bedroom and cutely designed (often heart-filled) YouTube thumbnails.

Credit: Kat Sophia

Moriondo has arguably had the most natural artistic progression from album to album I’ve ever seen. Starting with her debut, Rabbit Hearted., she brought her bedroom to the studio. Her first foray into original music was bedroom pop, where a lot of recent indie starlets (see: Clairo, beabadoobee) have found success after YouTube caught wind of their talents. Songs like “Silly Girl” sound like they could be ripped from one of her cover videos, with her signature harmonies and ukulele creating the intimate sound her online audience loved from her.

Her sophomore effort, Blood Bunny, was a shift into a more mature, indie rock sound. Still keeping her acoustic guitar as a sonic thread, she upped the stakes with combining more mature themes (blood and violence) with what her audience had come to know and love her for (charming themes of youth and love). Songs like “Bodybag” and “I Eat Boys” explore these themes perfectly, mixing blockbuster thriller themes with late 90s melodies.

SUCKERPUNCH, Moriondo’s latest project, is a booming hyperpop record with no shortage of attitude. Elevating the introduction of harsher instrumentals on Blood Bunny from rock-adjacent to bombastic, she bids adieu to her guitar and explores more powerful themes of fame, anger and dominance. Something Moriondo has done effectively with each release thus far is incorporating elements of her personality (i.e. the bridge of “Plastic Purse”) into even the most auto-tuned deliveries, and keeping the production raw. Every release has peeled back a new layer of her, and, after this many releases, creates anticipation for what she’ll reveal next.

Credit: Courtesy Wasserman Music

In “Popstar,” one of the songs on SUCKERPUNCH, Moriondo sings, “If you wanna love me, gotta know it’s not free…baby, I’m a popstar.” While this may not have rang true a few years ago, there’s now an element of accuracy. She doesn’t perform songs on YouTube nearly as much, now on the road for paying fans. However, I saw Moriondo perform in San Diego this past weekend, and, at her show, something that made those lyrics not seem entirely truthful was her willingness to truly listen and interact with fans. She took pictures on stage for multiple fans without hesitation, out of genuine happiness. The time she took to pause the show and thank so many people individually sets her apart from other artists of her caliber. Still able to connect seamlessly with her fans, Moriondo’s YouTube roots surely helped her develop her skills, but her intuitive personality was a reason as to why she naturally found so much success on that platform in the first place. Moriondo’s thread of authenticity throughout each album is likely that simple; she’s still that girl.

Flashing blue lights, curly blonde pigtails, ginormous lashes, looking straight at her fans. “If you think I’m looking at you, I definitely am,” Moriondoe emphasized at her show, symbolically, as a lot of her longtime fans have grown to love her while she looked directly at them through a screen. While this was in some ways the opposite of her beginnings, it was also an extension.

This was a nice introduction to a popstar in her own right. I can’t wait to see where she goes from here.

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