Pom Pom Squad’s Songs That Celebrate Their Journey to Queerness

Mia Berrin threw together a playlist of songs that helped her own her queer identity.

Last Friday, Pom Pom Squad released a cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover” to coincide with Bandcamp’s Juneteenth celebration, a date which for PPS ringleader Mia Berrin was an intersection of her identity as a queer Black American. “This year,” she shared in a press statement, “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.” 

Yet “Crimson” was just one of the many tracks Berrin cites as contributing to this process. The day after releasing the song, Mia took to Twitter to note that “black and brown people don’t have to make art that depicts the ~larger racial struggle in the world~ to be radical or revolutionary,” an observation that certainly also applies to queer art. 

Below, Mia compiled a playlist for us of songs that feel radically queer to her—even if that’s only from her vantage point. “This playlist is a mix of songs that were important to me in my journey to the center of my queerness, and songs by current queer artists that I love,” she explains. “Although it’s a very strange time for celebration, the spirit of pride is revolution—Marsha P. Johnson, a Black trans woman, throwing the first brick at stonewall so that we could be as proud as we are today. The fact that in 2020 there are people out protesting, being active and angry, and fighting to protect the most vulnerable people in our country—fighting for our rights—feels like an incredible way to honor that spirit. Even though there is so much more work to be done, we deserve to celebrate that.”

You can purchase “Crimson + Clover” here.

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