Review Summary: From the bedroom to the spotlight, the most surprisingly great pop album of 2021 may have already arrived.
Chloe Moriondo isn't a name that routinely floats about musical circles. That makes sense considering that she just turned eighteen and her debut was a meek, ukelele-driven bedroom pop album entitled Rabbit Hearted
. How quickly things change: her sophomore release, with the appropriately dichotomous title Blood Bunny
, is a ravenous, euphoric pop outing. There are moments which recall the feistiness of early Paramore, as the pop-punk aesthetic of 'Rly Don't Care' and 'I Want To Be With You' can attest to – but most of Blood Bunny
resides in the territory of acoustically driven power-pop. Chloe's ability to seamlessly transition between delicate balladry and huge, anthemic choruses almost recalls Avril Lavigne's 00s heyday. Regardless of any vague lines that can be drawn between Moriondo and artists from pop/pop-punk's peak crossover era, the combination of influences – mixed with a sense of casual mischief and youthful rejuvenation – all make Blood Bunny
an immediate force to be reckoned with.
is, quite simply put, an extremely good time. Moriondo isn't afraid of letting her unique personality shine through, which is apparent from the surface-level gory (but weirdly empowering) 'I Eat Boys' to the zany humor and marked candidness of absurdly infectious tracks like 'Bodybag'. The production is phenomenal across the board; Blood Bunny
's soundscapes shimmer and its crescendos are resplendent, yet it never feels overdone or grandiose even by mainstream pop standards. Moriondo is remarkably grounded for her age, always accessing a perfect balance between relatable confessions and pursuits of grandeur. She's at her most aesthetically enticing on 'Manta Rays', which combines a breathtakingly lush atmosphere with delicate vocals that sound like pebbles rippling in a still pond. While it's true that most of Blood Bunny
resides halfway between that kind of melodic ambience and the aforementioned pop-punk defiance, she rarely allows herself to "settle into a groove" – which is just critic-speak for phoning it in. On Blood Bunny
, Moriondo always has something important to say – whether it's venting adolescent stress or illustrating maturity beyond her years.
is one of those highly accessible albums that is somehow able to completely retain its own personality. That's a huge credit to Chloe, who in one album is able to pack in the attitude, energy, and emotion of a thousand different artists without sounding like any of them. It's just different enough to draw praise from critics, and delightfully entertaining enough to amass a cult following. She's not going to steal the crown from the biggest names in pop (at least not yet), but in the meantime she's served up a genuinely excellent plate of upbeat summer bangers. From the bedroom to the spotlight, the most surprisingly great pop album of 2021 may have already arrived.