The worlds of indie’s past and present are colliding. Rising stars (and Consequence’s June Artist of the Month) Pom Pom Squad have teamed up with alternative veterans Nada Surf for a new version of the latter’s 1996 classic “Popular,” complete with a near shot-by-shot remake of the song’s music video.
Filmed in the exact same location — Bayonne High School — the original and featuring the school’s actual cheer squad and football team, the 2021 update of “Popular” sees Pom Pom Squad mastermind Mia Berrin taking on all the roles as she plays a cheerleader, a football player, and a teacher. Reciting the song’s infamous popularity guide, the band pitch up the track’s chiming guitar line to fit Berrin’s voice, but it remains as spooky as ever. Listen closely, and you’ll hear Nada Surf’s Matthew Caws himself lending backing vocals.
Said Caws of the collaboration,
“I think the video is amazing! I love how it feels like a shot-for-shot recreation at the start but quickly takes on its own totally new character. The original was shot in 1996, looking back at previous decades, while this one feels set in the present day, looking inwards and towards the future… Another really cool aspect of the video is that the cheerleader character feels more and more sincere and human as the story develops. By the end, she’s much more than a player in a high school creation, she’s a person in the world and the singer of the song.”
Watch Pom Pom Squad’s “Popular” remake below, followed by Nada Surf’s original for comparison’s sake.
Pom Pom Squad released their debut full-length, Death of a Cheerleader, in June, and they’ve been on the up-and-up since then. Just last month, they wrapped up a tour with Nada Surf themselves, and they’ll join fellow Artist of the Month illuminati hotties on the road in late winter. They also have a string of headlining dates set for spring 2022, and you can get tickets to all their shows here.
Last month, the Brooklyn band shared the new song “Until It Stops,” produced by future tourmates illuminati hotties.