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The Linda Lindas first played together as members of a pickup new wave cover band of kids assembled by Kristin Kontrol (Dum Dum Girls) for Girlschool LA in 2018 and then formed their own garage punk group just for fun. Sisters Mila de la Garza (drummer, now 11) and Lucia de la Garza (guitar, 14), cousin Eloise Wong (bass, 13), and family friend Bela Salazar (guitar, 17) developed their chops as regulars at all-ages matinees in Chinatown, where they played with original L.A. punks like The Dils, Phranc, and Alley Cats; went on to open for riot grrrl legends Bikini Kill and architect Alice Bag as well as DIY heavyweights Best Coast and Bleached; and were eventually featured in Amy Poehler’s movie Moxie.
When the pandemic put a pause on shows, The Linda Lindas went on to self-release a four-song EP, make their own videos (including a get-out-the-vote effort with friends such as Tony Reflex from Adolescents, Adam Pfahler from Jawbreaker, Tae Won Yu from Kicking Giant, Allison Wolfe, Lois Maffeo, Money Mark, and Mike Watt), and grow a following beyond Los Angeles. But they never expected or could have even dreamed that their performance of “Racist, Sexist Boy” for the Los Angeles Public Library in May 2021 would take them from punk shows to TV shows.
A month later, when the school year ended and summer began, The Linda Lindas got to work on their first full-length LP. Having written a mountain of new material individually while sheltering in place and attending class virtually, the band was more than ready to enter the studio where Mila and Lucia’s dad (and Eloise’s uncle and Bela’s “uncle”) Carlos de la Garza oversaw recording and production. The Grammy-winning producer’s work includes Paramore, Bad Religion, Best Coast, and Bleached.
A product of generations of underground music in L.A. and beyond, The Linda Lindas’ debut channels classic punk, post punk, power pop, new wave, and other surprises into timelessly catchy and cool songs sung by all four members¬¬—each with her own style and energy. A handful of cuts have already been previewed at shows and enthusiastically approved by diehard followers in the pit at L.A.’s DIY punk institution The Smell and Head in the Cloud festivalgoers at The Rose Bowl alike. The Linda Lindas are stoked to unleash Growing Up:
Unlike the other tracks, “Oh!” was written by the entire band and is perhaps a hint at things to come. Bela brought the furious guitar riff, Eloise contributed lyrics about trying to help a classmate who was being bullied and having it blow up in her face, and Lucia and Mila added the catchy-as-hell chorus.
Lucia is only in her first year of high school, but all ages can relate to her lyrics about surrounding yourself with people you love, embracing uncertainty, and attacking it with gusto and the people you love.
“Talking to Myself”
After her big sister Lucia mentioned that her Zoom class discussed having conversations with one’s self and that she never did that, Mila said, “Oh, I do,” and proceeded to write a song about how she is always questioning herself.
Eloise wrote this riot grrrl rager after disagreeing with the messaging behind a popular movie that everyone else seemed to like just fine. It’s an instant shout-along classic, and Jenny Angelillo of Neighborhood Brats provided the youth crew backups it was played for the first time live, at The Smell
After Bela wrote a song about her cat Monica for The Linda Lindas’ self-titled, self-released EP, her other cat Nino wouldn’t leave her alone until he got a song of his own. This song is filled with slashing riffs and has a psychedelic breakdown but is also a fun song about a cat.
Alternately heavy and heartbreaking but always catchy, Eloise wrote this song during the pandemic about missing friends and family. But anyone who is separated from loved ones can relate.
Sung in Spanish, this is Bela’s most personal song so far. Channeling un-punk music she loves, it is dedicated to the oddballs, outcasts, and anyone else who feels like a weirdo.
Another tune written while in lockdown during the pandemic. Play Lucia’s song loud for anyone who feels alone and useless and stuck in a blur and needs a boost.
Deceptively whimsical, ultra catchy, and written and sung by Mila and Lucia, “Magic” is not about wishing for more but appreciating what we have.
“Racist, Sexist Boy”
The studio version of Eloise and Mila’s raging anti-hate anthem played at the Los Angeles Public Library that broke out The Linda Lindas from the circles of L.A. punk and introduced them to the world.