On her sophomore album Blood Bunny, singer/songwriter Chloe Moriondo puts her fantastically warped inner life on full and glorious display. With both intense specificity and idiosyncratic humor, the 18-year-old artist opens up on everything from hopeless crushes to gory revenge fantasies to the many elaborate thoughts that endlessly run through her brain (whether or not to shave her head, the boredom of the suburbs and the longing to escape, her undying love for Paramore and Girlpool, the freakishly large wingspan of manta rays). In that unchecked sharing of her obsessions and frustrations and deepest anxieties, Moriondo arrives at a body of work that’s bitingly honest yet tenderhearted, a lovingly delivered offering to the fellow weirdos of the world.
Her debut release for Fueled By Ramen/Public Consumption Recording Co., Blood Bunny brings Moriondo’s outpouring to a gorgeously composed collage of bedroom-pop and skate-punk and indie-rock. In shaping that mercurial sound, Moriondo worked with producers/co-writers like David Pramik (Oliver Tree, Selena Gomez), Keith Varon (Machine Gun Kelly, Zara Larsson), and Jake Aron (Snail Mail, Claud), mostly collaborating remotely in the throes of quarantine. But despite its departure from the lo-fi aesthetic of 2018’s Rabbit Hearted.—a self-produced, entirely D.I.Y. effort centered on her understated vocal work and graceful ukulele strumming—Blood Bunny undeniably heightens the raw intimacy of her songwriting.
“I wrote more honestly on this album than I ever have before,” says Moriondo, who first started writing songs as a little kid in Michigan. “I think it has to do with becoming more honest with myself in general, especially since graduating high school, and really figuring out what I actually care about and what I want to express in my music.”
As a happy outcome of that newfound clarity, Blood Bunny more brightly illuminates the landscape of Moriondo’s ultravivid imagination. To that end, the album’s deceptively breezy lead single “I Eat Boys” pays brilliant homage to the queer cult classic Jennifer’s Body, twisting an instance of street harassment into a cannibalistic daydream (“I’ll eat you whole/Pull out your teeth and take your soul/Stir some blood into the punch bowl”). “I wrote that song as a way to vent my hatred for the percentage of the male population that is terrible,” Moriondo notes. An equally potent burst of angst, the album-opening “Rly Dont Care” unfolds as a wildly cathartic anthem for anyone who’s ever been the recipient of unsolicited commentary or advice. “There’s a lot of people online and in the world in general who feel the need to tell me their opinions on things that don’t really matter much, like my hair or piercings or tattoos,” says Moriondo. “Most of the time I just want to respond by telling them, ‘I don’t care’—but instead I wrote a song that will hopefully encourage other people to do whatever they want to do.”
While Blood Bunny has its share of explosive moments, the album also finds Moriondo documenting her emotional experience with a delicate balance of dreamy sensitivity and painful self-awareness. Built on a kinetic back-and-forth between stripped-back verse and soaring chorus, “I Want To Be With You” begins in shy self-consciousness (“Swimming in my T-shirts, no matter the weather”), soon arriving at a sweetly poetic expression of affection (“You shut my mouth/And you buckle my knees”).