ALBUM: Soccer Mommy – ‘Clean’

“I always wrote songs just for myself. I did it for fun, I didn’t think anyone would notice,” explains Nashville’s Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy about her music. After listening to her debut album Clean, it’s clear she’s an artist afflicted with false modesty, as the record showcases her impressive talent for crafting affecting, emotional indie tunes.

Released via Fat Possum Records, Allison teamed up with a full band and producer Gabe Wax (War On Drugs, Deerhunter, Beirut) to curate this new collection of poignant songs, all of which were mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey). The result is the “cohesive” record she was looking for, a “piece” of her life that addresses “similar themes” and comes together as a whole. These themes include love, lust, uncertainty, self-doubt and Allison’s trademark “soft anger”.

The tentative ‘Still Clean’ opens the record, with her gentle, clear voice lamenting the bittersweet pain of drowning in the water after a lover has washed her from his “bloody teeth.” Second track ‘Cool’ – which Allison says “comes from a place of insecurity and idealization” – is polished and uplifting in its delivery. She has a gift for transforming frustration and insecurity into upbeat gems through her laid-back vocals and melodic guitar riffs.

‘Your Dog’ is another sublime example of this. Her frank admission of “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog” is a cathartic, emotional uprising against neglect that seethes and soothes in equal measure. On ‘Flaw’, Allison documents a loss of romantic faith, but she finds a quiet confidence again on following track ‘Blossom (Wasting All My Time)’. The song’s content will strike a painfully familiar chord with those carefully breaking out of their caged heart, taking tentative steps towards a new love.

Much like ‘Cool’, ‘Last Girl’ is an upbeat take on insecurity and a wish to have the “everything” that other girls seem to have. ‘Skin’ is a smoldering assertion of lust – “Back in the alleyway behind your Father’s home / I’m clawing at your skin, trying to feel your bones” – Allison’s urgency is palpable here, but so is her fear on following track ‘Scorpio Rising’. The hopeful opening lyrics are unraveled by her poignant image of being overlooked – “She’s lovely and sweet like coca cola / I watch from my drink as you look her over”. Her loves are unsustainable sugar rushes, but she longs for longevity and sincerity.

‘Interlude’ brings some brief respite from Allison’s exquisite negativity. It’s a reverb-strewn instrumental that leads in to closing track ‘Wildflowers’, exploring the depths of her “grey and shriveled” heart. Even when she sings of her emotional fragility on Clean, Soccer Mommy’s skewed self perception is raw, honest and remarkably strong. Definitely invest in this record if you like confessional, beautifully modest indie music.

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Soccer Mommy – ‘Your Dog’

An ultra cool indie tune about refusing to accept being second best in a relationship, Nashville native Sophie Allison – aka Soccer Mommy has shared a video to accompany her excellent new single ‘Your Dog’. The track is lifted from her upcoming album Clean, which is set for release on 2nd March via Fat Possum.

Soccer Mommy’s “soft anger” is perfectly displayed in her blending of sweet vocals and cutting lyrics on the single and the accompanying video sees her violently mock her desire to end the broken relationship she sings about. “’Your Dog’ comes from a feeling of being paralyzed in a relationship to the point where you feel like you are a pawn in someone else’s world,” Allison explains. “The song and the video are meant to show someone breaking away and taking action, but at the same time, it’s only a quick burst of motivation. It’s a moment of strength amidst a long period of weakness.”

Following a series of DIY Bandcamp releases and last year’s Collection, Clean is Allison’s journey out of her bedroom and into the studio with a full band. The new album has been produced by Gabe Wax (War On Drugs, Deerhunter, Beirut) and mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey), so we’re sure it’s going to be an intricate, sharply executed piece of work.

Watch the video for ‘Your Dog’, check out her UK tour dates below. Pre-order your copy of Clean here.

Soccer Mommy UK Tour March 2018

3rd – Leeds – Headrow House
4th – Manchester – The Castle Hotel
6th – London – Moth Club
7th – Brighton – The Hope

Kate Crudgington