If you’ve yet to spin any Pom Poms, the up-and-coming alt-pop L.A. band fronted by the talented and chic Marlene Gold, now’s the time to get acquainted. The collaborative effort between Gold and Grammy-nominated producer Billy Mohler has culminated in a debut album that is equal parts smoldering, retro, glamorous, and tough. We got a sneak peak at the auspicious new record, entitled Turn You Out, which will be released via iTunes this Friday, May 12th, and it’s just what the doctor ordered – something the pop scene badly needed.
From the adrenalized first notes of “GO GO,” Pom Poms’ burst of synth-powered melodies, energetic beats, and seductive, bad-girl vocals makes Turn You Out feel familiar and nostalgic in the best way possible. It sounds like exactly the kind of record that would have been confiscated in a more traditional household a few decades ago; just on the edge of being sexy at any given moment, but too irresistibly catchy for mom to toss after she’s done the grounding. Marlene’s strong vocals thrust you back in time track after track, with uptempo, defiant jams like “Heart In A Suitcase,” “Lost My Head,” and “Live Before I Die” making Side A destined for multiple spins.
At no point, though, does it sound like Pom Poms are forcing the throwback appeal, or trying to make a retro record. They sound more like genuine fans of a certain era who were suddenly let loose in the studio with nobody watching. In fact, the second half of Turn You Out takes a noticeable turn into a more mod and distorted realm, Mohler’s high-production handiwork slipping into the spotlight on songs like “Red Lips” and “Gimme You” to keep things fresh.
After some satisfying guitar riffs on “Mr. Hollywood,” and Marlene’s immersive alt version of album single “Betty,” Pom Poms finish it off with an unexpected and felicitous choice – a cover of the 1966 rocksteady hit “The Tide is High” from the Paragons, as made famous internationally by Blondie in 1980. It’s a perfect wink of a closer that feels like you’ve just been let in on Pom Poms’ little secret – that, not only do they consciously echo bands like Blondie in their music, but they’re not afraid of drawing comparisons. That’s the kind of confidence that comes from being truly unique in your own musical right.
Article: Olivia Isenhart