Mia Berrin-led, Brooklyn-based indie-rock outfit Pom Pom Squad have announced their debut album Death of a Cheerleader, coming June 25 on City Slang Records, and shared its latest single, “Head Cheerleader,” along with a self-co-directed video. The record is produced by Sarah Tudzin of Illuminati Hotties and co-produced by Berrin, while Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara contributes vocals to “Head Cheerleader.”
In a statement, Berrin describes “Head Cheerleader” as “an effort to lean into the overarching trope that makes Pom Pom Squad what it is—almost like parodying myself. Heart-shaped lockets and scary cheerleaders and young adult chaos and self discovery and deep, ungraceful discomfort. I was also in a really complicated relationship at the time that really pushed me to come face to face with my sexual identity in a way I never had before. I had this realization that the life I was living was designed around receiving attention and validation from men—something I never truly wanted. The result of that realization was like stepping out of an old skin. It changed the way I behaved in every aspect of my life. I was finally making decisions toward my own self actualization instead of for other people’s perception. It was terrifying and exciting and necessary. This song feels like a celebration of the discomfort that comes with stepping into your new skin—your own power.”
She adds of the “Head Cheerleader” video, which she co-directed alongside Julia Sub: “The image of laying awake in a grave underneath plastic grass, a painted sky, and flowers growing from these creepy, textured structures seemed to represent what I wanted out of a full length—something fierce and funny, dreamy, dark, queer … I think the video marks a turning point in my project in the same way it marked a turning point in my life. The song is about accepting yourself radically—I think the video explores that through a really fun, campy lens.”
Berrin and her band—Shelby Keller (drums), Mari Alé Figeman (bass), and Alex Mercuri (guitar)—released their first Death of a Cheerleader single, the explosive “Lux,” in March, landing on our list of the month’s best tracks. Their summer 2020 cover of “Crimson + Clover” also appears on their debut album. A few months prior to that cover’s release, in February 2020, Paste highlighted Pom Pom Squad as a New York City band to watch.
Watch the “Head Cheerleader” video below—be sure to stick around through the outro, which includes a preview of an unreleased track from the album—and see the details of Death of a Cheerleader further down. You can preorder it here.
Death of a Cheerleader Tracklist:
02. Head Cheerleader
04. Second That
07. Crimson + Clover
10. Shame Reactions
11. Drunk Voicemail
12. This Couldn’t Happen
13. Be Good
14. Thank You And Goodnight
Death of a Cheerleader Album Art: