Chloe Moriondo – Suckerpunch

A hugely impressive return, daring in its creativity...

Armed with an unfiltered imagination and an unapologetic attitude, alt-pop superstar Chloe Moriondo tells an eclectic collection of surreal stories on their new album ‘SUCKERPUNCH’. Chloe is still only just 19, however they are by no means a newcomer to the music world.

In fact, they broke onto the scene back in 2018 with their debut album ‘Rabbit Hearted.’, a record full of blissful romantic musings and innocent daydreams that paint the picture of an uncorrupted and honest young songwriter. Chloe then took the next few years to mature as an artist and explore a wider range of sonic palettes which culminated in the punchier, more rebellious follow up album ‘Blood Bunny’. Now, it seems, they have descended even further into a tantalisingly twisted aesthetic world on the new record. 

‘SUCKERPUNCH’ is an apt title that instantly indicates the uninhibited force of its lyrical and sonic content. From the bold, playful arrogance of ‘Popstar’ to the unhinged alternative electronic fusion in ‘Hotel For Clowns’, every song exudes an unwavering confidence. With her radio-ready vocal finesse and electro rhythms, you may initially be lured into thinking that Chloe is your typical US teenage pop sensation, yet they are anything but. Tracks like ‘DRESS UP’ erode this veneer and reveal an angst-driven individual on a mission to channel their volatile imagination in this abstract collection of uniquely empowering anthems. 

Chloe Moriondo – Suckerpunch

Each song dances the line between the bubblegum swagger of early Katy Perry and the new wave of ferociously angsty, alt-pop trailblazers such as WILLOW, Yungblud and renforshort. This is most evident in the back to back pairing of ‘Fruity’ and ‘Trophy’. The former is packed full of a euphoric dance energy that sounds purpose built for care-free summer parties, celebrating the power and beauty of youth in the form of anthemic sing-a-long vocal lines and upbeat dance-pop rhythms. Then, the later completely flips this atmosphere on its head, leading with a somewhat sinister baby voice before bringing in an overtly dense electronic pulse and a tightly rolled vocal attack that even takes a swipe at ‘bubblegum dumb boys’ which the previous track seemed to welcome. 

There is a small argument that the conflicting attitudes track by track are hypocritical and that the cleaner, commerciality on tracks like ’Fruity’ detracts from the overall twisted aesthetic. However, it does offer some accessible high-points within a pretty nuenanced album and overall, it only adds to the eclectic pick n’ mix assortment of emotions and aesthetics that Chloe plays with throughout the record. 

‘SUCKERPUNCH’ is a somewhat jumbled exploration of every dream you wish you’d never had. It is surreal in content, pleasingly unformulaic in structure and, at times, overwhelmingly intense in delivery. Here, Chloe Moriondo has managed to continue their progression from a melody-driven, commercial teenage prodigy into a fully formed artistic troubadour who appears fearless in the face of creative decisions. Although their refined pop sensibilities remain audible throughout, ‘SUCKERPUNCH’ sees Chloe Moriondo at their most daring and most confident on what is by far their most creatively impressive album to date. 

8/10

Words: James Booton

-
Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.