Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness are permanent, Sophie Allison aka Soccer Mommy cleverly nods to synth sub-genres on Sometimes, Forever. From new wave to goth, the album broadens Allison’s repertoire without abandoning the compelling melodies she’s known for.
Throughout, Sometimes, Forever is informed by historic musical movements. It’s entirely plausible that the album has been described as “a moodboard of vintage touchstones”. ‘Unholy Affliction’ and ‘Following Eyes’ both echo the 1990s grunge scene, with the use of guitars in the latter particularly drawing inspiration from Nirvana’s ‘Heart Shaped Box’. Likewise, opening track, ‘Bones’ wouldn’t feel out of place on Alvvays’ eponymous 2014 album.
Thankfully, Sometimes, Forever falls short of simply recycling old sound as the album transcends its influences. Later track ‘With U’ and lead single ‘Shotgun’ both incorporate heavier synth notes. The juxtaposition between this sound and the previously mentioned tracks separates Soccer Mommy from a sea of grunge and indie-pop imitators. The synth notes should come as no surprise though – Sometimes, Forever was produced by Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, most notable for the score of ‘Uncut Gems’ and The Weeknd’s chart-topping, ‘Dawn FM’. Lopatin has an unbounded synth vocabulary, which particularly shines through on ‘With U’.
Radiating an overwhelming theme of blueness, Soccer Mommy’s album is partially galvanised by the push and pull between Allison’s yearning to produce meaningful art and her scepticism about artless careerism. The echoey vocals on ‘Fire In The Driveway’ accompanied by nothing but acoustics certainly represents this disposition. Interestingly, the downcast lyrics depicting elitism on Sometimes, Forever follow Soccer Mommy’s past successes. Strikingly, her studio debut, Clean, is one of the most beloved albums of the 2010s lo-fi bedroom-pop scene. Similarly, her sophomore effort, color theory, was GRAMMY nominated. As explorations of artistic integrity go, Sometimes, Forever is a brave effort.
Sometimes, Forever will be released on June 24th via Loma Vista. Pre-order here
Photo Credit: Sophie Hur