Singer-songwriter Chloe Moriondo is proving to be one of Gen-Z’s most exciting artists with their new album, SUCKERPUNCH.
The songwriter first started gaining traction as a YouTuber where they posted covers and originals, this gave way to them releasing an independent debut record entitled Rabbit Hearted in 2018. Soon after the artist truly gained prominence with the release of their official major-label debut album, Blood Bunny, in 2021. Throughout the last few years in particular, the artist has cemented themselves as an incredibly exciting act and that’s all down to their unique sense of creativity. Chloe Moriondo has traversed indie, bedroom pop, jittery pop-punk, moments of hyperpop and more, whilst never feeling like they have to stay in a certain lane. It’s no wonder that the musician has gained such a dedicated fanbase, their sound is vibrant, diverse and fun. Moriondo’s work so far offers plenty of humour, heartfelt moments and introspective tales.
Earlier this month the singer dropped their sophomore major-label record, SUCKERPUNCH. It’s a sonically bold record which subverts what you might have come to expect from this rising artist. Throughout the record, there is an array of unruly characters on display such as a larger-than-life vigilante who collects ill-behaved boys like figurines, a champagne-popping Barbie doll with its hair chopped off, and a champion boxer stepping into the ring in a satin pink Hello Kitty robe. Thematically it covers self-exploration, uncovering potent truths about self-image and obsession and the complexities of power. Undoubtedly it’s the artist’s most exhilarating and experimental record yet.
In conversation with 1883 Magazine, Chloe Moriondo spoke all about SUCKERPUNCH, performing live, and who would be in their hypothetical supergroup.
Chloe, your new record SUCKERPUNCH is out now. The last time we spoke was for a different publication regarding last year’s LP release, Blood Bunny. Undoubtedly your new record is a bold leap compared to the indie pop of Blood Bunny. So with that in mind what do you think were the conscious/subconscious influences that helped shape SUCKERPUNCH’S more experimental pop sound?
I was honestly just incredibly inspired by all of the pop I was listening to growing up, lots of nostalgic, early 2000s/early 2010s pop. I really liked Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, old Katy Perry, and old Black Eyed Peas were really bleeding into my sound.
I think for this album, it kind of bubbled up now because I got bored of the sound I was with at that moment and wanted to make a one-eighty in some shape or form.
With this record, there’s a whole host of characters on display, for example, a larger-than-life vigilante who collects ill-behaved boys like figurines, a champagne-popping Barbie doll with its hair chopped off, and a champion boxer stepping into the ring in a satin pink Hello Kitty robe. When you came up with these characters did you have any references in mind?
I feel like with the character parts, not really. Everything I absorbed culturally growing up in terms of pop music and experimentalism–like with Lady Gaga and Ke$ha and all the pop girls who were just doing whatever they wanted–bled into my creation of these little characters. They all came together really naturally as their own little character songs and their own little concepts.
Personally, my favourite tracks on the record are Diet Heartbreak, Celebrity, and Plastic Purse. Simply, what are your favourites on the LP and why?
Thank you, I’m glad you liked them. My favourites right now are Plastic Purse, Pop Star, and Cry. I really love Plastic Purse, it’s one of my favourite concepts and reminds me of Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, it’s great. It’s been an obvious favourite for me since the beginning.
My second favourite is Pop Star because it’s the first off the album, it’s a slap in the face, and it gives me so much absurd, early 2000s pop that was the reason I loved Ke$ha so much.
My third would be Cry just because it’s my baby. Honestly, I’m such a crybaby, I’m so emotional. I cry every day, all the time, no matter what and I get really mad at myself for it but I think it’s kind of cool to at times. More people need to be cool with it. That song would be my third favourite for that reason, I also just really enjoy the melody and think it’s fun.
You’re right, people should be more in touch with their emotions and allowed to cry more because it’s such a good release. But anyway, when you said you cry quite often, I hope they’re mainly happy tears.
Sometimes. We do our best out here.
We need to acknowledge that last time we spoke you were yet to embark on your first headline Europe tour with a full band and now you’re already heading out on a major UK tour in February 2023 with a London show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire (an amazing venue) – now that’s what I call growth! Now that you’ve been touring with the band, how do you think you’ve grown when it comes to performing live?
It’s been crazy, it’s been a really fast and jarring change for me. I’ve been used to playing with four band members but now it’s just me and two other people but it has been really great and really fun. The live performance situation is different and exciting so I’m hoping it blows people away in a really great way. I love my band members, they’re amazing and I think it’s a really fun live environment. I hope everyone gets to enjoy it everywhere, hopefully.
Obviously, all this touring and performing can only help in terms of constantly improving your live craft I suppose. So do you feel more confident when performing live or have you always been like ‘I’ve got this in the bag’?
I’ve always had a certain headspace that I go into when I perform live. I don’t know what it is and it’s never really been a conscious thing. I don’t want to sound pretentious when I talk like that because I know everyone performs differently and don’t want to seem like all of this ‘comes naturally’ or whatever. There’s definitely so much work I have to put in when it comes to breathing, knowing when to expend my energy and go all out but also when not to. I think there’s always been a certain amount of confidence I have been able to assume because my audience is so cool.
Your first-ever tattoo was a self-done stick-and-poke tattoo right? So my fun hypothetical question is: let’s say the Chloe Moriondo stick and poke tattoo shop is open for only one day. What stick-and-poke designs would be on your flash sheet?
I think I would want little early 2000s digital things… maybe not super cleanly digital but like a little CD player, Gameboy or Nintendo DS. Those sorts of things or keychains. I think that would be cute. I’d also do really simple stuff like little hearts and funny little words, swear words like fuck, so I could stick and poke the word fuck on someone. I think that’d be funny.
We previously discussed collaborations and spoke about how you need to team up with Matty Healy but I think the world needs a supergroup consisting of yourself, Blu DeTiger, and Heather Baron Gracie. Is there anyone else you want in the group and what would you name it?
I’m not sure what I would name it, I feel like I would want everyone else’s input. I don’t know if I would want to be the leader, I don’t know if that’s my vibe. If I were in a supergroup, I would want all of us to be equally super. Plus the people that would be in my dream supergroup would be much bigger, richer and crazier than I am anyway.
I would have Grimes in my supergroup, I would want Ashnikko because she’s sick, that’s my bitch, I love her. I would also want Britney if she’ll let me have her in my group. Also an artist called Fraxiom.
I want all of us together as well as Blu and Heather. I want all of those fantastic girlies and people together in the supergroup just fucking shit up and being crazy. I added Grimes in there just for a sprinkle of extra crazy, I love it.
If this became a thing one day you would be unstoppable…
It would be an unstoppable force in many ways.
Onto a more serious question now, would you mind telling us about how you balance being productive/creative and self-care? As a creative that’s always making music or coming up with ideas how do you stop yourself from burning out? You’ve been touring a lot and already put out the puppy luv EP earlier this year….
To be honest, I’m still learning what the correct balance of self-care and work is as a newly 20-year-old teenage girl–I’m not changing that part yet, no ma’am. I feel quite easily overwhelmed by the sudden amount of crazy-different, fast-paced work that comes along with having this album out and being able to tour it. It’s different in a really great way but also an incredibly overwhelming way. I’m trying different things right now to take care of myself in ways that I can. Things like making sure I’m feeding myself whenever I’m hungry and trying to drink as much water as I can every day which sounds really silly and easy, but it’s really difficult when you have so much spinning around in your head all the time.
I’m also trying to go to therapy soon but it’s hard to schedule when you’re constantly moving around and doing different things. I’ve been trying to journal more often because sometimes it’s really hard when you have a really close group of people you get to talk to every day and that’s it. I’m trying to communicate with myself and other people more and the people in my team more specifically, to make sure I’m being listened to and taken care of. It’s a really difficult process for me as a young adult but I’m doing my best and learning. I’ll get there.
From everything you’ve put out so far, you’re proving that you are a versatile artist and there’s no way of pigeonholing your art. What is something you’d love to experiment with in the future when it comes to music? Literally, anything that comes to mind…
I would love to try anything, first and foremost. I love basically all styles of music, I’m even warming up to country at times.
I would really like to be maybe a little more involved in the production process in my future music because I don’t know how to produce at all. I love to watch it happen but I never really get hands-on. I put my thoughts in and tell them exactly what I want and want to change but I never do what I want myself which I think would be interesting and fun.
I don’t really play synth or do too much in my music production-wise in my music which would be fun to do, even though I do have a voice in it already.
I’d like to experiment with darker, weirder, more experimental types of pop. In the future maybe I’ll do disco. I think disco is really fun and exciting. I like music you can dance to like EDM, it’s fun. I’m warming up to it because everyone around me really likes it.
I want to do everything, I want to try everything and collaborate with everyone and learn as much as my brain will allow me to.
Speaking of song production, can you tell us how it goes when you’re sitting down with a producer?
A lot of the time when I’m sitting down with a producer, I’ll give some reference tracks or a vibe that I would like to create and a lot of the time I have already spoken to them for a while. We will have already established some sort of connection and friendship, that’s why I’m still there and working with them and I feel comfortable telling them all this. I need to make sure it’s someone I’m cool with and I know will make something for me that will be fun and collaborative, not just forcing ideas into my face. I’ll call in and be like “Hey, what’s up?” And we’ll talk for a little while and I’ll be like “I want to make a song that’s more pop-type stuff, I want it to be inspired by this song and this energy and I want it to sound like this”. They will then come up with something and I’ll say “I feel like I need it to be a little more of this” and we will just go from there.
A lot of the time the producers that I’m paired up with are incredibly talented, Oscar works with Ashnikko all the time and does incredible work with her. His solo stuff is also incredible, I really love him. That’s part of the reason why the process is so easy, it’s really easy for me a lot of the time to walk in and say “I want to create this type of song” and they can just create a really easy base for me to either start criticising or really, really liking and then moving on with.
As you’ve put out so much work recently whether it’s the EP earlier this year or the previous record last year. Are you going to spend 2023 pushing Suckerpunch or move onto something else already?
I think I’m going to let everyone live and party with Suckerpunch next year. I’m going to tour it, I’m gonna live with it and I’m gonna love it. I’m going to give it time to sit for a while. I realise now, the more I’ve talked to interviewers, I guess I release music pretty quickly and frequently compared to others. I really love to make music and release it but I think for 2023 I’m going to allow Suckerpunch to live for a while. I want her to be played at clubs and parties and I wasn’t to see it happen, I want to be there to celebrate it. I want it to be a year of fun but also rest and self-care and promotion in an exciting but also healthy way.
I want to do more photoshoots, I really like fashion and doing interviews and taking pictures to go along with the interviews. Talking about my album and talking about music then being able to put on fancy clothes and take pictures is one of my favourite things to do. I want to be able to promote the album in a slower but still very exciting way. Less touring as well, I think I will just exist for 2023.
Let’s end on something wholesome. Giving us a snapshot of yourself in October 2022, how are you doing right now and how do you think you’ve progressed as a person since the last time we spoke?
Oh my goodness gracious; I’m all over the place I’m really excited, I’m growing all the time and doing my best to do it healthily. I think I’ve changed a boatload since the last time we talked, it always feels like I have aged three months in like a week. I’m ever-changing and I’m excited to keep changing and to tour this album until I feel like I’m dead and then I’ll be even more excited to talk about it once I’m home and rested.
The Cdbaby<3 (underscores Remix) is out now. Chloe will be touring the UK next February. Follow Chloe Moriondo @chloemoriondo
Interview by Cameron Poole
Photography by Kenneth Cappello