Brooklyn indie rock darlings Pom Pom Squad have shared a new video for their horror-movie-inspired take on Tommy James & The Shondells’ Crimson + Clover in honour of Pride Month. Both the song and video were made completely in quarantine. Of the song, frontperson Mia Berrin says, “This year would have been my first Pride as an ‘out’ person. It took me a long time to come to terms with my identity in a true and honest way, but I am proud to meet myself where I am now. This year, the idea of walking down a street proudly, in my queerness and in my brown skin, feels particularly difficult for a multitude of obvious reasons, but this song is my small celebration of the scary, complicated, empowering process of owning my black, queer identity.”
Watch the video clip for Crimson + Clover via YouTube below.
The four-piece reminiscent of early Hole, Mitski and PJ Harvey has become a staple in Brooklyn for their modern grunge sound and raucous live shows, sharing the stage with indie-rock mainstays like Soccer Mommy, Adult Mom, Pronoun, Rosie Tucker and more. Prior to the national quarantine, the band was slated for a string of upcoming tour dates opening for Disq and The Front Bottoms this past spring, in addition to SXSW showcases with AV Club, Neon Gold, The Grey Estates and more.
Alongside Berrin, the band features bassist Mari Alé Figeman, drummer Shelby Keller, and guitarist Alex Mercuri. 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.
Their 2019 EP ‘Ow’ was previously championed by the likes of Pitchfork, FADER, Stereogum, Paste, SiriusXM Alt Nation, Under the Radar, Highsnobiety, Refinery29 and more, with Thrillist naming lead single Heavy Heavy one of The Best Songs of 2019. 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 colour, 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.