“I wrote a verse for a song when we were playing kickball in P.E. last week,” says Lucia de la Garza, one of the four members of The Linda Lindas. Beside her, her bandmate Eloise Wong nods seriously. “Kickball is always very inspiring,” Eloise confirms.
The Linda Lindas are made up of sisters Lucia and Mila de la Garza, their cousin Eloise, and friend Bela Salazar, whose ages range from 11 to 17. The budding punk group had a breakout moment in 2021 when a performance of their original track “Racist, Sexist Boy” exploded.
Music is something they take seriously; even prior to their viral success, they’d secured an opening gig for fellow female punk rockers Bikini Kill, a show for which Amy Poehler happened to be in attendance. Poehler then recruited the quartet to lend a few tracks to her directorial debut, last year’s Moxie.
After being signed to heavy-hitting label Epitaph Records, the road has led them here, to the release of their debut album, Growing Up (available today, April 8th). It’s a strong, heartwarming record from a group of impassioned young people who are confident in the power of their voices.
The majority of the record was written in the early days of the pandemic — fans of the act will be glad to learn of the inclusion of a studio version of “Racist, Sexist Boy,” though. In addition to the other previously released singles, “Growing Up,” “Oh!,” and “Talking to Myself,” there are gems like the energetic “Magic”; the punchy “Nino”; and the vibrant, Spanish-language “Cuantas Veces.”
“It’s really cool to get to know your song and try to take it apart and put it back together again,” Lucia says of the recording process.
The vibe of the album is distinctly youthful, and that’s not a word that should ever be used to minimize the kind of music The Linda Lindas are making. Something fun and striking about them is the fact that they are able to toe that very line, acting as a voice for young people rather than trying to hurry into adulthood, while also exuding passion — and knowledge — for music that seems beyond their years. When asked about dream collaborations, Bella says David Byrne, while Lucia responds with Sleater-Kinney.
Growing up is hard enough; growing up during what seems like relentless periods of global turmoil is exceptionally difficult. “It’s crazy to go through a pandemic and also be in school and also have millions of other problems that you’re dealing with,” says Lucia. These four mention that they’re glad to have each other to lean on, and hope that’s something that comes through in the album, too. “I hope that other people have someone else to do it with. That makes it so much easier,” Lucia adds.
To be so young and to already be accomplishing something as significant as a debut full-length record is undoubtedly a daunting thing, but the members of the band are taking it all in stride. “I think I’m just really excited to put it out into the world,” Mila shares. “[The songs] are like parts of us. So if you listen to it, you kinda get to know us a little better.”
With that in mind, what the album reveals is that these four young creatives are unafraid to speak up, willing to act as a mouthpiece for their peers and counterparts, and offering a window into the intense day-to-day experience of coming of age in troubling times. “We’ll sing to people and show what it means to be young and growing up,” they belt out on the title track.
Lucia mentions that at the end of the day, this was something they got to do together — and that was the best part of all. “People are going to say things about the album, but we did it because…”
“Because we want to do it,” Mila finishes.
“Yeah, because we want to do it,” Lucia nods.
Catch The Linda Lindas on tour with Jawbreaker this spring.