Today, Pom Pom Squad drops “Lux”, their first new song of 2021 and their debut release after their recent signing to City Slang Records.
It’s a razor-sharp bite of cathartic punk, that the Brooklyn four-piece’s powerhouse frontperson Mia Berrin initially wrote at seventeen while in the traumatic throes of her adolescent feminine awakening while realizing the everpresent gaze of the male patriarchy. With its namesake coming from the character in The Virgin Suicides (one of her favorite movies), the song is achingly vulnerable while delivering its message like a thrashing sonic sucker-punch. It also was the song that ultimately led to Berrin following the voice in her head telling her to pursue music.
And the video, which also drops today, recreates several specific shots from Sophia Coppola's adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, and shows Berrin’s colors as a lifelong fan of John Waters, David Lynch and Heathers, with an irreverent pastel-soaked high school narrative that cherishes the underdog.
“It’s about the fear of intimacy I felt as a teen that stemmed from negative early experiences of male attention,” she said. “The Virgin Suicides, one of my very favorite movies, captured that fear in a way that deeply resonated - the scene where Trip leaves Lux alone on the football field. He had gone through the effort of making her love him and then, when he got what he wanted, he left. I released the demo for this song on Bandcamp when I was in college and it ended up being played on Brooklyn Vegan’s blog radio on Sirius XMU. It was the first lightbulb that maybe I had a calling in music. The release has been a long time coming, but ultimately, I’m glad I waited so that I could really do right by this thing and simultaneously, by my teenage self.”
Julia Sub, who co-directed the video with Berrin added "Working on Lux was therapeutic for many reasons during the Covid-19 pandemic. Channeling my pent up energy and creativity into something collaborative, after a global lock-down, was so important to me during this time. The themes of our music video, I think, speak directly to an emotional state the world can currently and very easily identify with. Lux touches on the ideas of isolation, confusion and a yearning to escape. This project really challenged all those involved to push our creativity to new limits, overcome unbelievable obstacles and reminded us how uplifting collaboration is for the spirit."
From City Slang Records: “City Slang is thrilled to welcome Pom Pom Squad into the City Slang family. We see Mia forging her own path, defying genre and expectation, in her songwriting and lyrical storytelling. The way Mia can nod to her influences, be they of the iconic 60’s girl group, characters from a John Waters film, or cutting edge fashion from today, while simultaneously spinning a beautiful and original story in her songs, is absolutely thrilling. This is the kind of record that makes you not only excited to see what you can do with an artist in a post-pandemic future, but also how you can build their career in the present circumstances. We cannot wait for you to hear this record in its entirety!”
Mia Berrin spent her childhood trying to find where she fit right in the world, looking to the pop culture icons on TV in hopes of finding an image she connected to. She connected with the films of John Waters and David Lynch, loved the dark campiness found in Heathers, was in awe of the power of women like Courtney Love and Kathleen Hanna. Growing up as a female of color who would later in her life unearth and embrace her queerness, discussing and reconciling who she is with the perception of who people think she should be, has become a lifelong mission for Mia.
With Shelby Keller (drums), Mari Alé Figeman (bass), and Alex Mercuri (guitar), Mia formed Pom Pom Squad in 2015 and took to the streets of NYC, cutting her teeth playing packed venues alongside the likes of Soccer Mommy, Pronoun and Adult Mom.
But with the COVID pandemic changing the rules of how we all live, followed by the wave of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Mia’s world became more solitary, and she took this time of reflection to pay respect and homage to the people of color who helped lay the groundwork for the musician she is today. The likes of Sade, Billie Holiday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, all ring a bell. All of these components throughout Mia’s life have bonded together, fortifying a talent that for years has shaken NYC venues, and now is set to shake the world.
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