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Pom Pom Squad

Pom Pom Squad's "Last Christmas"

Pom Pom Squad’s cover of Wham’s “Last Christmas” is the best version of the Eighties seasonal perennial at least since the one Crazy Frog did (Ariana Grande pffft) but did Crazy Frog add a dramatic soliloquy to the George Michael composition or curse out the song’s errant lover-to-never-be at its conclusion? I think not. The CGI amphibian went top-ten in both Sweden and Belgium with the song in 2006 which makes me think PPS should be a lock for a top-five chart placing at minimum.

Band frontperson & Orlando-to-Brooklyn refugee Mia Berrin (pictured) heightens both the wistful melancholia and the implied tension of the original version and plus the Pom Pom’s update advocates staying at home for the holidays so win-win. And while you’re at home you can pop in the new “Simply Having A Wonderful Compilation” compilation (released last friday) into your virtual CD changer alongside Tiny Tim’s Christmas Album and that Hanukkah record from last year with Haim and Flaming Lips and Jack Black and Yo La Tengo and have yourself a grand ol’ time.

“Wonderful Compilation” featues Pom Pom Squad alongside a full slate of indie small-stars all wishing you a dream-poppy, grungy holiday (sample title: “Santa Is A Neocon”) but with the occassional foray into 16th-century caroling which all makes sense since it’s a co-production of indie mainstay Father/Daughter Records alongside Wax Nine, the latter of which being both a sister label to D.C.’s Carpark Records and a friggin poetry journal which is the brainchild of Sadie Depuis of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13, the latter of which having been discussed in the post right before this one so you see how everything in the universe is connected.

But before closing just two last words about Pom Pom Squad. And those two words are "Heavy Heavy" for they are both of those things.

Pom Pom Squad and "Honeysuckle,"

“Honeysuckle,” a beautifully tender, reflective indie rock song, is the latest single from Brooklyn's Pom Pom Squad prior to the release of their second EP OW (out on September 6th), following 2017's HATE IT HERE. Berrin explains that the track is about rebuilding to resolve an issue, which one can only do once the cause of the wound is identified. The band's sound has evolved in more sophisticated and powerful directions compared to their previous material, with an aggressive electric sound and a more angsty delivery reminiscent of the riot grrls movement of the '90s . The single progresses from an apathetic stream-of-consciousness series of thoughts to painting a picture of a serious inward and outward, back and forth internal dialogue, tackling a painful personal experience with existential undertones underlined in the chorus: “if I’m nothing without you, am I anything at all?”. Berrin's sultry vocals never resolve the question, and a concoction of clunky guitars play a chunky tune that continues her honest anxiety. - Susan Moon 

Pom Pom Squad strips songs to emotional core for solo set at Mercury Lounge 1.14

Pom Pom Squad’s music is dynamic and driving, but at the heart of the band is Mia Berrin’s sincere and emotionally vulnerable songwriting. Littered with stirring lyrics like “you said you wanted to take me away / so I packed a bag but you never came,” Berrin captures heartache with honesty and accuracy. The power of distorted guitars and crashing drums can help tell the story but her voice always leads. On January 14th, you can hear that songwriting take center focus when Pom Pom Squad plays a solo set at Mercury Lounge. – Cameron Carr

Pom Pom Squad brings garagey pop to Sunnyvale on 06.14

Somewhere between the heart wrenching lyricism of Mitksi and the cool-girl attitude of Cherry Glazerr, Pom Pom Squad stirs up trouble. Spoofing the cheerleader stereotype, they reclaim the image of the girl everyone loves to hate with sincerity and confession. Hate It Here, their nostalgic 2017 release, persuades listeners to reconsider their high school bullies, with lines like “How do you expect me to figure myself out/when I can’t tell the difference between bad and good attention.” Don’t miss their show at Sunnyvale tomorrow (June 14th) with Danny Christmas, Nick Llobet, and Julep Maisey. - Allie Miller 


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