When indie singer-songwriter Chloe Moriondo played The Bodega this month, it was an evening of pride flags and lots of Dads. Lucinda Dodd reviews.
Earlier on concert day, Chloe took to Instagram to let fans know that two members of her band had tested positive for Covid – meaning she’d be performing her set alone, acoustically. The show had a somewhat underwhelming beginning, with the Michigan-based singer abruptly walking on stage to alert fans of this change before starting. This set the tone for a very casual concert, with Chloe taking time to connect with fans in between songs and alternating between playing different guitars and ukuleles. This informal approach worked due to The Bodega being an intimate venue.
She opened with Rly Don’t Care which sees her chant: “I promise I didn’t ask if / My piercings are attractive to you / That’s weird and I’m eighteen”. These lyrics encapsulate the teen angst feel to her music which has won the hearts of her young fan base. The average age of the attendees did at times lead me, at the age of twenty-one, to ask: ‘am I too old to be here?’
One of Chloe’s distinctive features as an artist is how she juxtaposes hyper-feminine aesthetics with creepy elements, creating cognitive dissonance – typified by her album title: ‘Blood Bunny’. Throughout the concert, she often made subtle dark comments – one of which led the guy standing behind me to whisper: “she’s a psychopath!”.
This sinister aspect was also manifested through song lyrics such as I Eat Boys – inspired by the film ‘Jennifer’s Body’ – where she sings: “I’ll eat you whole / stir some blood into the punch bowl”. The music video for this song sees her bring this aesthetic together: presenting Chloe in a powder pink dress with blood round her lips.
Bodybag – also on the set list – has a similar feel, with the music video, showing Chloe with her signature exaggerated eyelash extensions, cutting her hair off with a knife. Her unnerving aesthetic has clearly inspired her fans – with many sporting the doll-like makeup and grungy-yet-girly dress, leading to my friend commenting: “her fans look just like her!”.
One of Chloe’s captivating qualities is her ability to be singing about her pet dog Sammy “your little face is sweet as candy” one minute, and to a love interest the next: “I don’t wanna like you, I just wanna tie you up / And keep you in a cage and watch you sleep”.
As a self-proclaimed TikTok addict, I was excited to hear that Frances Forever – singer of the viral song space girl – was the support. To my joy, they even did the TikTok dance for space girl as they performed. Frances’ energetic presence and honeyed voice combined with the electric guitar instrumental of their band filled the whole room.
However, this did make Chloe’s fully acoustic performance feel somewhat anti-climactic and highlight how she was a lacking a band. Whilst songs like strawberry blonde and GIRL ON TV befitted being performed with just a ukulele, I Want To Be With You and Bodybag were frustrating to hear acoustically, as both songs on the record feature heavy instrumentals.
At times, the laidback feel felt more suited to a super fan, and sometimes the mellowness did not translate to the back of the room – although, perhaps she can be forgiven, as it was evident that many people around me were parents accompanying their children.
Perhaps the show would have benefitted from a shorter set list
Despite this – given that Chloe had only just found that she would be performing alone – she clearly connected with her fans. But perhaps the show would have benefitted from a shorter set list. Chloe closed the show with Samantha – a love song about her girlfriend. Her openness about her sexuality has clearly resonated with many, with fans swinging pride flags in the air.
Since her show at The Bodega, the remainder of Chloe’s UK tour has been postponed as she sadly now has Covid too – acting as a reminder that even in a post-Covid restriction world, the music industry is still impacted by it. I’m sure fans can anticipate a vibrant show when Chloe is reunited with her band for the rescheduled dates.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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