We’re currently in the middle of a pop-punk revolution. A wave of Gen-Z artists like jxdn, Yungblud and Willow Smith – often assisted by pop-punk legend Travis Barker and recent adopter Machine Gun Kelly – want to bring back the sounds of bands like Green Day and Blink-182 for their generation. There’ll be small twists – a hip-hop beat here and there, and a commitment to bring an array of voices through – but, by and large, the sentiment and spirit remains.
The latest artist to embrace the sound is Michigan native Chloe Moriondo, who first made their name with a stripped-back ukulele-aided sound; three million followers flocked to her charming covers of everything from Radiohead to Panic! At The Disco.
Now, though, she’s rocking out and wants you to know about it. Having been spired to make the switch to the electric guitar, and influenced by Paramore and Avril Lavigne, Moriondo’s major label debut ‘Blood Bunny’ – her “big kid album” – shows off another side to their musicality. And surrounded by a full band, her second album is crammed full of catchy, candid and – at times – carnivorous tunes.
Most notably, a high energy pop-punk permeates the record. The bouncing ‘GIRL ON TV’ – which sees Moriondo honestly consider her jealousy of the easy-breezy lives girls have on telly – is made for full-crowd sing-a-longs with fellow weary teens. The middle-finger raising ‘Rly Don’t Care’ sees her declare: “I really, really don’t care if you don’t like my hair/or you don’t like my clothes/ or anyone else does”.
Lyric topics throughout are fairly well-worn, like the teenage longing of ‘I Want To Be With You’ and the fear of failing relationships on ‘What If It Doesn’t End Well’. But when there’s an attempt at more witty, narrative-led songwriting, the album excels, particularly on like on ‘I Eat Boys’, a cannibalistic-daydream inspired by ‘00s comedy-horror flick Jennifer’s Body. On it, Moriondo twists the narrative of street harassment, warning: “I’ll eat you whole/Pull out your teeth and take your soul”. On ‘Favorite Band’, a tasty nugget of alt-pop, sees Moriondo honestly revealing to a potential beau “I just don’t like you as much as I like my favourite band”; a perfect mix of her two worlds.
Songs like ‘Slacker’ show an elevated version of the warm lo-fi aesthetic of early releases, sounding more like Soccer Mommy or Phoebe Bridgers than an angsty pop-punk cut. Surrounding her gorgeous vocals with wavering strings and shuffling drums, Moriondo discloses: “I could’ve had her / but I guess I’m just a slacker / but maybe it wouldn’t even matter / if it always ends in disaster”
Whether channelling her larger-than-life musical heroes or shrouding her music in something more subtle, Moriondo’s lyricism shines through – she’s yet another Gen Z star willing to try the pop-punk outfit on for size. The fit? Pretty damn good.
- Release date: May 7
- Record label: Fuelled By Ramen