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SPOTLIGHT SOUNDS: Pop Artists Experimentation With Chloe Moriondo’s SUCKERPUNCH

As we find ourselves in fall, the beginning of a new season presents a perfect opportunity for artists to bring out new projects for their listeners. Within the past two weeks alone, we’ve seen drops from Noah Kahan, JoeP, WILLOW, Ashe, The 1975 and a slew of singles alongside the albums. However, one album that I’ve found sonically intriguing was by Chloe Moriondo, due to the patterns of variation in her musical career. Let’s break down why. 

Chloe Moriondo opening for mxmtoon at House of Blues, Chicago

If you’ve followed Chloe’s progression — or if you were big on the softkid ukulele trend that propelled her exposure around 2018 — you can identify the stark contrast between her earlier sound and now. Originally, Moriondo was uploading covers of popular songs in her yellow walled room, with a ukulele in hand; growing a following of those who adored their sweet, smooth tone and warm ambience. With the release of her first EP in 2018, fans were pleased to hear this embodied in original songs comparable to artists like Cavetown or Dodie Clarke. As time progressed Chloe took on more of a rocker sound in Blood Bunny and puppy luv. But now she challenges herself further.

Chloe certainly leaves a mark with SUCKERPUNCH, which has heavy tones of 8bit beats and hyperpop. Similar to their hit “Bodybag,” many songs on the album take a more haunting or edgy lyrical approach, asserting twists to childhood references to items like clowns or dolls — almost in a Melanie Martinez manner. A new addition that is distinct is also the use of more sound effects. Ringing bells can be heard in “Knockout,” dogs barking in “Hell Hounds” and carnival music in “Hotel for Clowns.” The upbeat songs are well accompanied by semi-ballads. Though slow in tempo and mellow in tone, “Diet Heartbreak” and “Cry” have a tasteful and unique use of autotune and electro-pop guitar riffs/other instrumentation.

The narrative holds some cohesiveness in its telling of Chloe’s experiences with both relationships and rising stardom, which are mixed in longing lows and ego highs. Though the fun exploration of sound can be easy to get swept up in on surface level, there are relatable lyrics scattered into the songs. It may be for an acquired taste, but Chloe’s boldness in venturing into new demographics is only leading to her advance, and digipop fans are sure to enjoy this step of the process.


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