chloe moriondo Shrinks Indie Boys in 'Plastic Purse' Video

chloe moriondo Shrinks Indie Boys in 'Plastic Purse' Video

by Justine Fisher

chloe moriondo is sick of indie boys, and now she’s experimenting on them in her new music video, “Plastic Purse.” The high-energy single comes off of moriondo’s album Suckerpunch, which drops today.

From the inside of a vibrant science lab, the 20-year-old pop singer towers over the shrunken, beanie-wearing boys before dropping them in her bright plastic purse. Moriondo’s playful persona in the song, written for “girls who want to feel better about themselves, and maybe go key somebody’s car,” captures the unpredictability of the uninhibited 13-track album.

Suckerpunch is moriondo’s third full-length album following 2021's Blood Bunny and 2018's Rabbit Hearted. Though she rose to fame with understated indie-pop and pop-punk hits, she is taking her new album in a completely different direction, drawing inspiration from the early 2000s pop stars she grew up on.

Exploring self-image, obsession, and power, moriondo is trying out a new sound as she expresses her experience as a young woman in the music industry. Ahead of her tour that begins October 12, moriondo implores fans, when listening to the silly yet sincere album, to “take it and love it and dance with it, or sit with it and chew on it and spit it out. ”

From her songwriting process and vision for Suckerpunch, to a Tumblr-inspired track and her deep-dive into Miranda Cosgrove’s discography, moriondo spoke to PAPER about everything that went into the untamed, imaginative new album.

Can you walk me through your vision behind Suckerpunch?

All right. Suckerpunch is a big, crazy glittery, sparkly hairball of feelings and things that I went through in the past year and some change of my life. I didn't realize it until it started really coming together, that I was making a cohesive album that I wanted to put together and release until like halfway through. The album is really about what being in the music industry as a girl and as a teenager, what that means to me and what the ideas it implanted in my head mean to me, as well, and how I'm navigating those. The album is really carefree sounding and really absurd and silly in a lot of ways that I really like. I like being kind of weird with my songs, frankly, and not being super structured or technical with them. It was kind of a big flood of emotions, honestly, to write all of these songs in such a different manner. The album as a whole, to me, is about girlhood and wanting to be a pop star growing up, and then growing up and being in the music industry suddenly and still wanting to be a pop star but not really knowing what that means. And, therefore just self-proclaiming it and writing a bunch of pop songs and throwing out a bunch of emotions that teenage girls often feel.

Can you talk a little bit more about the emotions and themes you were exploring with being in the music industry as a teenager?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a pop star. That was my thing. For me personally, I was listening to Kesha. I was listening to Lady Gaga, like The Fame era. I was listening to Katy Perry, like the pop stars of our generation. They're still huge today, and they're considered pop stars, which is kind of a strange word and I don't really know exactly what that means. I think I just want to take it, use it, self-proclaim it, and then move forward from there. That was kind of the original concept behind the song “Popstar.” The song “Celebrity” kind of takes the darker side of that and how being under a bunch of lights and having a bunch of people looking at you, no matter what the caliber is. I don't really actually consider myself a pop star. I'm not Lady Gaga. I'm not Kesha. I'm not Katy Perry. But, I love the pop star attitude, and I think if you have it, you can use it. But with “Celebrity,” especially songs like that with that sort of theme, I also wanted to portray how nerve-wracking and really anxious it can feel to have a lot of people looking at you, even if it doesn't seem like a lot to other people. Kind of glamorizing and dramatizing that into a song really kind of helped me work through some of those feelings. Being able to write a bunch of cathartic, crazy, different pop songs really helped me kind of understand what all of this means, why I wanted this, why I want to continue with it, and why I wanted this sound and these visuals.

Some of the songs are darker, versus some of them are more traditional pop-y songs. Can you talk about that range and how they all fit together?

I feel like I've never been a person to stay in one place, and I don't think any of my albums are ever going to reflect that. I wanted to make so many different stories and reflect so many different emotions in this album, and I'm really really happy with how the highs and lows translate. A song like “Popstar” is so high energy and so intense and very like traditional pop in my opinion, versus the song “CD Baby,” which is quite subdued but still in that energy and still has a completely different sound to anything that I've made before. I really wanted this album to be completely different than anything I've done before but still have lots of dynamics and different styles and a song for everyone hopefully.

Do you feel like Suckerpunch evolved from your past albums, like Blood Bunny, or did you want you to take it in a completely different direction?

I wanted to take it in a completely different direction, pretty much, at least in terms of sound, in terms of the way my voice sounds and the way the songs sound. I wanted to keep a lot of the processes behind them kind of similar. I don't know what a nicer word would be, but I'm kind of picky about how my songs are written and how the lyrics are. There are some people that I've worked with on Blood Bunny, that I was introduced to in my Blood Bunny era, and growing up and suddenly making an album for a label, that was crazy! Therefore, they became really close because I clicked with them. The ones that I really connected with and made songs with, like Steph Jones and David Pramik. I talked about them in a lot of interviews, but Steph Jones is an amazing songwriter and David Pramik is a fantastic producer. David did “I Want To Be With You” with me, and then he was on this album so, so much because I wanted to keep the people kind of similar and my team and the way I feel about the songs still very like home to me. I hope that translates to other people that itwas a very authentic and fun and real experience for me and a very like home experience for me. I hope other people can feel that too, at least a little bit.

Can you talk a little bit more specifically about your songwriting process?

I am so weird and freeform about writing songs. I've never been super technical. I didn't really go to school for songwriting. I was never taught in any classes about what songwriting is supposed to be like, which I kind of like and I don't think I want to change it. I tend to just write a bunch of random shit in my notes app and then revisit it later when I have a session. A lot of my best ideas are born in the shower, or the middle of the day, or on a car ride somewhere, or something came out of my friend's mouth and I needed to write it down like right then and then we'll take it to session later and make a whole thing out of it. A lot of the process of that is just me sitting in the studio and working out a fun sound and beat with a producer, and then sitting on my phone in the corner and tap, tap, tapping away until I have a full verse that I want to try. I'm quite introverted about my songwriting process, so when I have good songwriters that really understand how that works for me and can contribute to that in a positive way, that doesn't make me feel kind of intruded upon, that's a special thing for me. Steph Jones is an incredible force for me to be talking about because I don't tend to click with songwriters that well. I love working with other people, and I think exploration is really important to me and experimentation with other people is really important to me when working on my music nowadays. But, when you click with a person really well, especially for me, that's special because I think a lot of my best work is made when I'm being a little freaky and introverted about it for a second and then we bounce off ideas afterward. It's a weird and not often copy-paste process, but I think it's fun that way. I think everyone should write how they want to, and that's how I like to do it.

Is there any moment that you remember writing something down in your notes app that then became a song on Suckerpunch?

Oh my god, totally! “Hotel For Clowns” was just a concept in my head, and I couldn't remember where. I remember this Tumblr post from like forever ago that was about this creepy clown hotel that someone found in like the middle of nowhere or something. I don't remember if it was a scary story or a meme or what was going on, but I just remember coming up with the phrase in my head, “hotel for clowns,” because I thought it was funny and I'm a clown, hotel for clowns. I was like, “I feel like this is gonna be a song,” and so I wrote it down and kept it there for a really long time. I did not whip that out until months later in the session, where I just knew I wanted to make that into a song that day. That's something I don't really realize, but it's a pretty cool and fun and special thing. I think a lot of songwriters go about things pretty similarly, where they'll just write something down and then deal with it and flesh it out later, but that's a really special thing to be able to do. It's cool to be able to come up with a crazy concept and then think about it later with a completely different perspective. It's fun that way.

Besides Tumblr posts, what are your other inspirations that you can think of?

Musically or just visually, like what’s up?

Either one, whatever you feel!

I've talked about her all the time, but Lady Gaga has always been an inspiration to me. The Fame era and all of the weird, crazy fashion and experimentation she's always done in her career. Especially in the early 2000s, late 2000s, and early 2010s, she really dominated in the pop scene because of how crazy she was. She was doing stuff that people thought, “it's crazy.” It wasn't actually that crazy, but it was just absurd to people and something about that is so beautiful to me, and I love it, and I'm constantly inspired by it. I was very inspired by early 2000s fashion in general and the stuff that I grew up on, like Polly Pocket and Barbie. The color schemes of the outfits that Barbies and Polly Pockets would wear when I was growing up visually bubbled back up and made for this album. A lot of nostalgia inspired the visuals and sound, at least in terms of like pop nostalgia for this album. I was just constantly listening to Britney, constantly listening to Lady Gaga, and people who reminded me of them. I also weirdly was on this kick. Do you know any of Miranda Cosgrove's discography?

I don't think I do.

She released some music during the iCarly era, and she did a cover of a cover of a cover of a cover. I don't even know who did this original song at this point. I think it was by, who was it? It was a British girl group or something, but I was really on a kick with that song during this album creation because that was a song I loved to listen to when I was an iCarly girl when I was in elementary school listening to my pop music, wearing my pink and brown and doing my thing. I'm definitely reverting to that era, but in a very advanced, amplified way.

Exploring what it means to you to be a pop star, or not, with you touching on so many different personas, what do you feel like you want to project?

I want to be seen as a weird, little shapeshifter pop star at the moment. I want my current form to be a pop star, but I want people to view me as something everchanging and exciting and hopefully something people want to listen to and look at and be excited and inspired by at the end of the day. I want to be authentically very me, which happens to change very quickly and excitingly for me personally. I want it to inspire other people to want to change things about themselves in a fun way and be experimental and seemingly weird to other people sometimes, which I think is a lot of the reason why I was so inspired by Lady Gaga’s stuff. She experimented with her outfits a lot and did some kind of absurd things that a lot of people loved and were inspired by and immediately did so much with and created art inspired by. That's such a special and beautiful thing, and I want to be something inspirational to people in that way.

Do you feel like this album is your most authentic like you’re coming into your own?

It definitely feels like I'm growing up and learning what sounds are fun for me and learning how to take control of my stuff that I'm making. It feels authentic to me because this is exactly the style I like right now and the sound that I like to listen to. I always like to make music that I want to listen to after and that I think is exciting and fun. Currently, that is exactly what Suckerpunch is to me, and I hope that other people are equally as excited. I always want to make something that I love, and I hope that means at least one person will really love it after that.

What do you hope that fans take away from that?

I hope that they listen to it and are, first of all, astonished. I hope they are sucker-punched in the fucking face about it because it’s very crazy. It goes so many places. I hope they take away that I’m growing up and becoming my own little pop star and that they should do that too. I really want my community to still connect with it and hopefully see me in it and see that I'm doing something fun because I want to and that I’m talking about all this stuff because it's something I've wanted to talk about and I'm making all the sounds because I’ve wanted to for a while. I hope they take that and think that they should do it too and are hopefully inspired to do that in any way, shape or form that they want to. I also hope that they really want to come to the shows because they’re going to be really fun and huge, and I really want to see people's reaction to the songs live. I think it's gonna be really fun.

How are you feeling about performing live?

I'm so excited. The shows are going to be fucking huge. They're gonna be crazy. They're gonna be so different. Incredibly amplified. Very different from the blood bunny shows but in a great way. There will still be a sprinkling of blood bunny songs in there for the nostalgia of it all. But it's gonna be a sucker punch to the shade. The outfits are so cute. The transitions are crazy. We're playing almost the entire album. And it's, it's gonna be mind-blowing. And I hope that people love it.

With the singles that are already released off the album, like “CD Baby,” do you feel like it's gotten the reaction you were hoping for already?

I feel like it has. I've seen a lot of people saying, “this is exactly where my music taste is right now,” which is crazy because that's exactly where mine is right now. A lot of people in the community, in the audience that I have, a lot of them are around my age and have really similar styles to me and listen to really similar stuff. It was really exciting to me to see people being like, “whoa, I didn't expect this but it's exactly what I wanted to listen to.” That was a crazy reaction for me to be able to see. It seems like everyone's really excited about it, and that makes me really happy. There are always going to be some people who aren't super interested in a new sound or a new look. Most of the time that's the new look. That's always going to happen, and I am frankly at peace with it.

With taking this album in such a different direction than Blood Bunny, were you worried at all that people wouldn't necessarily follow it in the same way?

Oh, yeah. It was. Certainly, I have anxieties and fleeting thoughts that I'd get really terrible responses, that everyone would hate it and that everyone immediately would just be begging me to go back to acoustic ukulele. But, those thoughts definitely are very fleeting and don't take up too much of my actual brain. I know that, at the end of the day, if I were making something anything different than what this is, I wouldn't have been happy. I worry about my music, which I think is what I owe to people when I'm releasing it because then I have to give it to them live. I want to love making the music, and I want to love performing it and love sharing it with people. If I don't fully love even the idea of releasing something, it doesn't feel right to give it to people. All the anxiety about people maybe not liking it kind of gets overshadowed by me knowing that it would be so much worse if I were releasing something that was "safer."

Is there a particular song that you're most excited to perform live?

I am incredibly excited to play “Hotel For Clowns.” It's gonna be incredible. It's gonna be so freaky, especially because we're going to be doing a lot of these shows like Halloween season. I'm going to try and make people dress up for some of the shows, and I don't want to spoil the reason why, but it's going to be crazy. It's going to be a crazy experience. It's gonna be so cute. I love it.

Photography: Kenneth Cappello