New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Pom Pom Squad Walks Forward While Looking Back

The local indie rock group’s homegrown roots haven’t stopped their forward momentum.
Pom Pom Squad frontrunner Mia Berren. (via Facebook)

It wasn’t too long ago that the Brooklyn-based indie rock band Pom Pom Squad was nothing more than an inkling of an idea in the back of the mind of a high schooler. Now, the band has numerous singles, live shows and attention from mainstream outlets like The Fader under their belt. On the verge of releasing an EP and fully transitioning into a new era, band frontwoman and Clive Davis Institute alum Mia Berrin reflected on the evolution of both the band and herself.

“I don’t want to create this narrative that I just fell into everything,” Berrin said. “I’ve had to work really f-cking hard, but I’m so proud of my journey with this band, mostly because I had no expectations for it.”

Pom Pom Squad is currently enjoying some widespread buzz, courtesy of music media outlet The Fader, following the release of their latest single “Honeysuckle,” a grungy rock throwback with a bitter tinge that betrays its sugary title.

“It was sort of surreal,” Berrin said. “I grew up on The Fader and the fact that they wanted to support the song was pretty dreamy. I kind of didn’t believe it was going to happen until it did.”

Despite their gained experience, Berrin noted the single as a prime example of the amount of effort the band still must put into production and revision to ensure a quality song.

“I was pretty precious about editing this song down, but it had a hard time finding its footing in the first round of practices,” Berrin said. “When our old guitarist, Alex Mercuri, brought in that riff, it was like the entire song snapped into place.”

“Honeysuckle” marks the second single for the band’s new EP “Ow,” which is due out on Sept. 6. Berrin described the EP, which has been in the works for over a year, as a simultaneous departure from and culmination of the music the band has created thus far.

“We experimented with sounds, instruments and song structures I’ve never tried before,” Berrin said. “I think what we achieved in letting go of a commitment to genre is like a story arc. I allowed myself to be a lot freer on this EP. It feels, for me, like an actualized version of our past stuff.”

Aside from their EP, the immediate future for the band consists of their signature bombastic live performances, with a headlining show at Baby’s All Right — their record release party — in Brooklyn on Sept. 15 and an opening show for Miss June at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade in October. Looking further, Berrin assured that more music will come from the band in the future.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned a lot about music and I feel really lucky and excited about everything that’s happened and is happening,” Berrin said. “But what keeps me grounded is being grateful to do this at all, and to do it with my best friends.”

A version of this article appears in the Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, print edition. Email Ethan Zack at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ethan Zack
Ethan Zack, Deputy Managing Editor
Ethan is a junior in CAS majoring in Journalism and History. When he's not stumbling through an endless stream of Zoom classes, he's doing fun and cool things like reading the Wikipedia plot summaries of horror movies because he's too scared to actually watch them or making yet another three-song playlist that he will literally never touch again, ever. He's most active on Twitter (@ethanzack), so feel free to reach out with any spicy takes.

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