I've been borderline obsessed with Harsh Crowd ever since someone slid into my inbox around this time last year with a copy of their EP, Don't Ask Me . The band have been together since 2013, after meeting at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, a camp in Brooklyn, New York geared toward empowering girls and women through music.
Now, Harsh Crowd—all of whom are now 14 years old—are back stronger than ever with a five-song sophomore EP, Better. Their songs aren't darker, but they're indicative of growing up and wrestling with what full-fledged teenagedom can bring.
"I'm coming out of my cage and I want to shout" Willow sings on the first song, "Long Shot," demanding her place—and by association, Harsh Crowd's place—in the world, while "Clowns" critiques the system and pays homage to movements like Occupy Wall Street. "Democracy's as good as dead / don't let them get inside your head," the group vocals chant on the song's chorus. The entire EP is beautiful punk rock made by exactly the kind of people you want to have making punk rock: teenage girls who don't give a damn about the place society wants them to occupy.
"This EP means a lot to us, because it embodies the music we want to make and the music we want to listen to," says the band. "We took a year to make sure every song was something meaningful, and we couldn't be prouder of this final product we've created. We hope people love it as much as we do."
Listen to the five-song EP below. Better is out on November 4.
Annalise Domenighini is trying really hard to be cool on Twitter.