Yogyakarta, Indonesia’s Grrl Gang explode across your ears at the start of “Pop Princess” with a song that says – no demands – ‘dance to me!’ The driving, droney guitar is a relentless call to shake something. Surprisingly, the chorus is not the hook magnet here. If anything the chorus taps the brakes, letting you catch your breath before diving back in. The song appears on the 2020 collection Here To Stay! that brings together material from the group’s stand-alone early singles and EPs. There’s plenty more fab stuff here like the Teenage Fanclubby “Dream Grrrl” and the Smithsian “Night Terrors.” The magic here is how the band combine a Scottish indie pop elan with just a hint of post-1950s American song styles. And smart? Whoa. These peeps have got something to say and they’re going to say it now, particularly on restrictive gender roles and sexuality. But they manage to meld those political passions and insights into the music almost seamlessly. Fist pumping and arm waving, all at the same time. The band’s more recent single “Honey, Baby” is also pretty special, dramatically expanding the sonic depth of their sound. All this and they’ve yet to release an actual debut album – now that is going to be a thing.
Visit the Grrrl Gang at their Bandcamp, Instragram or Facebook pages and catch the wave.