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Brooklyn four-piece Pom Pom Squad describe themselves as “NYC sad girl music,” but they’re not the byproduct of the weird, lo-fi, ukelele- and MIDI controller-led “sad girl” subgenre that has swallowed the internet in the last few years.
The band’s work is pretty heavy to begin with—both lyrically and instrumentally—and vocalist Mia Berrin doesn’t give into creaky indie-girl-voice vowel sounds. The band’s debut studio EP Hate It Here managed to melt together the brute dynamism of early Sleater-Kinney with the sort of syrupy, angsty girl-pop vocals found in the early music of, say, Skye Sweetnam or a More Adventurous-era Jenny Lewis. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working.
The band have a new EP titled Ow out next month, and today, July 31, they’ve shared its stunning and vulnerable second single.
“Honeysuckle” has a biting edge—it’s a messy fuzz of strident, sloshy guitars, a chunky bass and outbursts of feverish strumming. Berrin’s breathy vocals oscillate between layers of clarity and compression as she sings of the unease of codependency: “If you could see me you’d see that I’m seething / How do I become someone that I can believe in? / If I’m nothing without you, am I anything at all?”
Berrin described the song in a statement as “burying myself in other people to avoid having to deal with whatever-the-fuck is going on with me. It’s also a song about rebuilding—identifying the wound so you can start to heal it,” a theme that runs throughout the band’s mental health- and self-healing-centered lyrics.
Ow is set to arrive Sept. 6, and the band will be performing a handful of shows in New York in the coming months ahead of the release. You can check out the new single and the band’s upcoming dates below.
Pom Pom Squad Tour Dates:
02 – New York, N.Y. @ Mercury Lounge
11 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Union Pool
15 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Baby’s All Right (EP Release Show)