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Shelby Township's Chloe Moriondo goes for 'Blood' on debut album

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021

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Chloe Moriondo has wanted to make music since she was very young. "I've always felt like I can't do anything else," she says.

But the pop singer-songwriter from Shelby Township — who just released "Blood Bunny," her first national album via Public Consumption/Fueled By Ramen/Elektra — had her doubts.

"I was always an anxious child," Moriondo, 18, confesses. "I was always worried — 'Omigod, what if I don't make it? Maybe I'll be a veterinarian.' Then I got scared 'cause I love animals and didn't want to have to put them down. Then some sort of biologist — but I don't like school.

"All of that kind of gets canceled out now. I'm pretty lucky I don't have to use Plan B — at least not yet."

Moriondo is, in fact, is justified in feeling like a long career in music may be ahead of her.

Working from the same bedroom she grew up in, surrounded by her collection of clown figurines and pets — tarantula and gecko — Moriondo has been building a buzz since she began posting cover songs, accompanying herself on ukulele, on YouTube. A DIY debut album, "rabbit hearted," in 2018 and last year's "Saint Orb" EP paved the way for "Blood Bunny," which has been advanced with singles such as "I Want to Be With You," "I Eat Boys," "Bodybag" and "Manta Rays."

And Moriondo entered 2021 with Artist to Watch attention from People magazine and Britain's New Musical Express.

"I feel like so many different doors have been opened for me. It's so exciting," Moriondo says. "I mean, music is now my full-time job, which is something I'm really grateful for and feel really lucky to have. I get to worry about my own music as my main thing, every day. It's exactly what I wanted."

Music hit Moriondo early. Her parents played "a bunch of bands in the car" and at home, including a steady diet of the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Green Day. Both of her older brothers played guitar. "We'd have those little assignments in kindergarten, what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I'd put down 'a singer and a mommy,'" Moriondo says with a laugh. "It's still pretty true. All I want to do is have a baby once I'm done with all the cool stuff, but I want to make music the rest of my life."

She was "always encouraged to be creative and do what I want" at home, and she started playing guitar first before taking up ukulele, which quickly became her main instrument. Moriondo started writing songs in elementary school and was part of the choir at Eisenhower High School. But her focus remained fixed on her own music.

"I had a lot of people who were supporting me — mostly a small circle of friends I've had since elementary and middle school," she says. "A lot of them are artistic and have their own stuff but aren't exactly music people. Everybody's different, and we all support each other."

Moriondo signed her national deal a couple of years ago, while performing in New York, and was first sent to London to work with producer Cavetown on the four-track "Spirit Orb" EP. The project introduced her to "bigger, sort of more band-sounding music," which Moriondo continued to explore on "Blood Bunny" with multiple producers and co-writers.

"I definitely feel like my writing process and my music now, in general, is a lot bigger and a lot more than just me sitting in my bedroom with a ukulele," explains Moriondo, whose influences include Paramore, Girlpool and particulary "early" Avril Lavigne. "I never expected my music to be able to sound this big. I never expected to let other people in on my music and let them have their hands on my stuff.

"I just never thought I'd be able to make music that sounds like what 'Blood Bunny' sounds like, which is really, really cool."

Moriondo treads through a gamut of emotions amidst the record's polished pop sheen — not all of them pretty.

"I'm an edgy teenager now, and I like blood and guts," she acknowledges, noting that "I Eat Boys" in particular was inspired by a line from the 2009 comedy horror film "Jennifer's Body." "It was really fun for me to write a bloody song about reclaiming power like that." The sweetly melodic chorus of "Bodybag," meanwhile, coos that, "I don't wanna like you/I just wanna tie you up/and keep you in a cage and watch you sleep for ages."

There is, nevertheless, a largely cheerful countenance to the 13 track, which mitigates some of the angst and ambivalence in Moriondo's lyrics.

"I really like messing around with the contrast in sounds and lyrics," she explains. "I try to keep a positive outlook on things in general, and I don't want my music to be super sad all the time. I didn’t want this album to be full of slow sad songs — even though some of them ARE sad songs.

"I like to just make weird stuff I wouldn't have expected to make, you know?"

Moriondo has stayed busy since finishing "Blood Bunny" — and not just to promote the album. She has her next EP written already and is preparing to record it. Those songs are "in kind of a similar vein as 'Blood Bunny,'" she says, but Moriondo has some different directions in mind for the future.

"I'm hoping to experiment with more industrial, hyper-pop sort of stuff — really produced, shiny-sounding music which is super up my alley," she says, citing artists such as Charli XCX and food house. "I've found a lot of different sounds and different ways of making music. So I'm really excited to keep exploring — for the rest of my life."

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