Brooklyn favorite Pom Pom Squad just shared a vulnerable new song,“Honeysuckle”with FADER. A stonewalled anthem of dependency, it’s the second single off the quiet grrrl indie-punk band’s newly announced Ow EP, out September 6. Frontwoman Mia Berrin explains: “‘Honeysuckle’ is about 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.”
The four-piece reminiscent of Rilo Kiley, Mitski and PJ Harvey previously released cathartic first single from the EP, “Heavy Heavy”. The band has been a staple in Brooklyn for their modern grunge sound and raucous live shows (tour dates here), sharing the stage with indie-rock mainstays Soccer Mommy, Adult Mom, Wild Pinkand Long Neck to name a few.
When you hear Pom Pom Squad, you might picture a gaggle of matching teens, or a wry, sarcastic clan decked out in black; the reality is somewhere in between. Alongside Berrin, the band features bassist Mari Alé Figeman, drummer Shelby Keller, and guitarist Ethan Sass. Hailing from a variety of different backgrounds — from Keller’s jazz training to Berrin’s classic hip-hop and new wave upbringing — the group manages to be serious without taking themselves too seriously. It’s that balance of solemnity and whimsy that allows punk and tenderness to live side by side: chunky, distorted guitar on some tracks, and near-whisper on others; brash yells or tame, wry wit.
Berrin’s music reveals internal discord — she’s intent to cast off the “nice girl” narrative, turning herself inside out to show that she isn’t so put-together after all. Also integral to Berrin’s self-excoration is her existence as a queer woman of color, two identities that come with their own preconceived notions. With lyrics centering on mental health, abuse, trauma, and healing, Pom Pom Squad pursues radical self-acceptance through periodic self-exposure and self-undressing.