Watching and listening to “Atlanta Girls,” the new single and video from indie rock trio Trash Panda, it seems easy to relegate the song to mere party anthem status. After all, there are the punchy pop grooves, the exuberant hooks, and the mega-watt chorus, all set to images of young women dancing, celebrating, and cutting loose. It’s indelibly catchy, yes, and also on the brink of almost hyper commercialization.
But pay close enough attention to the track and you’ll catch a glimpse of something darker bleeding from the edges. While “Atlanta Girls” is undoubtedly a paean to the women of our city, it also serves as a satirization of the bar scene as the band confronts the corrosive masculinity that often infests major parts of Atlanta nightlife.
“This song arose from a genuine appreciation for Atlanta women,” explains guitarist and vocalist Patrick Taylor. “I see Atlanta as a home base for 21st century women embodying independence, forward thinking, and responsible freedom… And yet… in this city, as in all others, there remains the very stubborn and long-lasting effects of toxic hyper-masculinity, of deep sexism, of prejudice in all its ugly forms. I wanted whatever song we wrote about Atlanta to encapsulate all of that.”
Whether or not the dual messages within the song connects with audiences remains to be seen, but if all else fails the group hopes the song’s breezy swagger and fist-pumping energy will win the day. With over a million plays on Spotify, it’s clear Trash Panda have an instinct for crafting songs that will keep listeners coming back, and with “Atlanta Girls” they hope to continue piling on the streams. The track is the lead single from the group’s forthcoming full-length, a cut the trio readily admit is the most commercially accessible on the LP.
“It’s definitely the most pop song on the album,” says bassist Max Hewett, while drummer Mitch Standfield adds, “This song is totally different from the rest of the album, this is probably the most commercial of songs that we have on here. The rest of the album is pretty heavy.”
Directed and shot by Joshua Kirk, the video latches onto the track’s anthemic pulse and party dynamic by focusing its attention on — what else — women and the city. From the wide, sweeping shoots of Candler Park, to slow-motion rooftop revelry, to poolside sun and fun, the colorful clip’s festive atmosphere is meant to draw viewers in to Trash Panda’s celebratory, day drunk vibes.
“We basically just scheduled a day for all of our friends to get together and celebrate all day,” says Taylor. “Budget restrictions limited our options but sometimes those limitations can be of real benefit. The video feels exactly how that day felt: like a fucking ball.”
Trash Panda will perform tonight at the Earl alongside Zale and Man Up, Yancey. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is $10. 21+ to enter.