Photo: Kris Herrmann
Few artists make music as easily relatable and sincere as chloe moriondo. The 17-year-old Michigan teen found her start in similar fashion to many of her Gen Z cohorts, sharing snippets of her ukulele-scored thoughts and feelings on YouTube. Those intimate moments would soon grown an avid fanbase that would launch moriondo to the forefront of the bedroom pop world, and as her new EP makes crystal clear, she shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Spirit Orb feels like a rapturous departure for moriondo. Following her self-released debut album, Rabbit Hearted., Spirit Orb is as much a testament to where she came from as to where she's going.
Largely gone are the ukulele-driven sentiments that at times bordered on the saccharine. Instead, when those moments do arise, such as in the heartfelt "Kindergarten" and jubilant "Far Away Friend," there is a noted maturity to these earnest moments of introspection. "Far Away Friend," for instance, gives way to a daydream-like kaleidoscope of sights and sounds, brought to life by dynamic production and instrumentation.
However, the largest departure comes in the form of those equally cathartic and euphoric moments where moriondo and her electric guitar take center stage. "Bugbear," in particular, with its Dungeons & Dragons-referencing title, demonstrates the teenage artist's previously unseen promise as a genuine bridge between the center of a mosh pit and the ripped-out pages of a diary. The result is moriondo at her most spirited, blending her heart-on-her-sleeve lyricism and innate gift for moving songwriting to wondrous effect.
In the span of four earnest tracks, moriondo pays reverence to her past and what lies just beyond the horizon. It is a wistful and aspirational feat that one cannot help but get swept up in.
Listen to Spirit Orb below: