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 – ‘Cool’

A dreamy guitar tune that questions what it means to be popular, Nashville’s Soccer Mommy (aka Sophie Allison) has shared her latest single ‘Cool’. The track is taken from her upcoming album Clean, which is set for release via Fat Possum Records on 2nd March.

“’Cool’ focuses on this other person who’s desirable and it shows how sometimes you can romanticize the idea of being different than you are,” Allison explains. “It comes from a place of insecurity and idealization, which is a feeling that hangs over a lot of the album.” Soccer Mommy has a knack for writing about anxiety and “soft anger,” exploring frustration and insecurity through her laid-back vocals and melodic guitar.

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. Soccer Mommy will be playing a UK tour in March, taking her to venues in Leeds, Manchester, London and finishing up in Brighton. Get your tickets here.

Listen to ‘Cool’ below.

Pre-order your copy of Soccer Mommy’s Clean here.

Follow her on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

Kate Crudgington

PLAYLIST: February 2018

February might be the shortest month of the year, but it’s been a near impossible task for us GIHEs girls to scale down our choices for this month’s playlist. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new music that’s been flooding our inboxes, and we’re excited to finally share some of our favourites with you. Have a listen, head down to some of the gigs we’ve mentioned, and hold tight for another month of marvelous new music.

La Lune – ‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’
‘He Breathes Colour When I Feel So Grey’ is such a beautiful sentiment and such a visual image. La Lune’s email popped into my inbox and within a couple of clicks I was listening… melting into my ears with its slow electronica and gentle murmuring vocals. A big slice of me. It’s taken from La Lune’s debut EP Bliss which is out NOW. (Tash Walker)

Complicated Animals – ‘Show Me’
If you dig 80s music, David Lynch films, and “dreamy synth-pop songs” – you’re going to love Complicated Animals latest single. The Brazilian-American duo’s track is a lush electronic exploration of the magic that happens when we experience pure, genuine human emotion in a world where most of our interactions are dictated by technology. (FYI – If you’re heading to see Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird in a UK cinema this month, listen out for Monica da Silva’s song ‘Back To His Girl’, which is featured in the scene where Lady Bird is trying on prom dresses) (Kate Crudgington)

Sink Ya Teeth – ‘Pushin’
Having blown us away with their completely captivating live performance at The Finsbury last year, Norwich duo Sink Ya Teeth are fast becoming one of our favourite bands. Following the completely addictive sounds of ‘If You See Me’ and ‘Glass’, new release ‘Pushin’ is propelled by pounding beats and funk-fused bass hooks. Add Maria Uzor’s smooth, soaring vocals into the mix and the result is an utterly infectious, whirring soundscape that’ll have you up on the floor in no time. (Mari Lane)

Olivia Nelson – ‘Hideaway’ (K, Le Maestro Remix)
‘Hideaway’ came out in the dwindling days of 2017 and now it’s been freshened up by producer K, Le Maestro. Always one to go weak at the knees at the slightest hint of a remix, I have fellow GIHEs gal Kate to thank for giving me the heads up on this one. Strong beats, strong vocals and strong samples. Needless to say we’re stoked to have Olivia as a guest on Get In Her Ears Radio Show on the 8th February, so be sure to tune into that! (TW)

Black Gold Buffalo – ‘Lay It Down’
“Your mind will fester and your head will roll” sings Black Gold Buffalo‘s front woman Keziah Stillwell on new single ‘Lay It Down,’ a song she wrote about overcoming anxiety. It’s a well-crafted, slow-burning, beautiful track that I can’t wait to hear live at The Waiting Room on February 7th (gig details here). (KC)

After London – ‘Bitter Man’
If you’re looking for a slice of anthemic, alternative indie-rock, look no further than After London’s ‘Bitter Man’. The five-piece released their eponymous debut EP last month, and it’s a record that proves they’re well-rehearsed, wickedly talented, and ready for their launch party at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 7th February (RSVP here). (KC)

Soccer Mommy – ‘Cool’
I’m trying (and failing) to play it cool whenever I hear one of Soccer Mommy’s new tunes. She released the brilliant ‘Your Dog’ a few weeks ago, and she’s followed it up with the equally impressive ‘Cool’. I can’t wait to listen to her debut album Clean in full (released via Fat Possum Records on March 2nd) and hopefully hear a few of the tracks lives when she performs at Moth Club on March 6th. (KC)

Carolyn’s Fingers – ‘Her Howl’
‘Her Howl’ is the first official release from experimental pop band Carolyn’s Fingers and I just love it’s unexpected twists and turns with the vocals & samples plucking their way throughout the track. Carolyn’s Fingers sing about love, mental health, mythology and queer and social politics – this track in particular is about depression in what they describe as a weird but hopeful way. ‘Her Howl’ is 100% DIY, recorded and produced by themselves. Enough said. Get listening. (TW)

Partner – ‘Everybody Knows’
The latest single from our favourite Canadian duo, ‘Everybody Knows’ tells of the paranoia following one too many bong hits. Filled with a jangly guitar fuzz and delightful, sparkling harmonies, it gives a nostalgic nod to ’90s punk-pop whilst maintaining its own refreshing wit and sunny energy. Complete with impressive, racing licks, it’s a wonderfully infectious offering that’ll leave you longing for another hit of Partner’s playful, uplifting sounds. (ML)

Dream Wife – ‘Act My Age’
“Do I amuse you? Do I confuse you?” – Dream Wife’s vocalist Rakel confronts her listeners in trademark sweet & shouty style on this superb new track, taken from the band’s self-titled debut album (released via Lucky Number last month). Fearless on stage and now on record; Dream Wife’s debut is a joyful declaration of defiance and self-autonomy, designed to motivate listeners in to embracing life, love, and the fires that spark when you overcome adversity. (KC)

Blue Crime – ‘TYR’
I’m a bit late to the game on this one but as they say better late than never. Born in an Amsterdam bunker, Blue Crime are an experimental doom-pop/new wave four-piece self-described as a “trip from the disarming to the wrenching”. This track is taken from their debut EP TYR, released back in 2015 on their very own Meduse MagiQ label – an all female arts/music collective. ‘TYR’ draws you in with its hazy guitar and atmospheric vocals, like slowly falling into an endless kaleidoscope of music mist. Bliss. (TW)

The Nyx – ‘Patience’
Our favourite London rockers have released another new single to coincide with the appearance of another full moon, and we’re hooked on their powerful riffs and affecting vocals. We’re 99.9% sure The Nyx will be appearing on our monthly playlists for the remainder of 2018. #sorrynotsorry (KC)

Suggested Friends – ‘Mother Fucking Tree’
Taken from their fantastic self-titled album, this track oozes the band’s uptempo, ‘tweemo’ punk-pop and twinkling charm, showcasing the band’s infectious melodies and luscious harmonies as they tell frank, witty everyday life stories. Also, with amazing lyrics like “I thought you had a halo, but it was just the backlight from your iPhone…”, what is there not to love? We cannot wait to see them live next Friday, 9th February, at The Finsbury along with LIINES, Bugeye and Duck (RSVP here). (ML)

Kesha – ‘Praying’
Though I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole of the Grammys last week, I did watch the full performance of Kesha performing ‘Praying’, taken from last year’s Rainbow. Though this song appallingly lost out to Ed Sheeran in the awards, her incredible, emotive performance of the track is the clear winner in my opinion. Surrounded by a mass of women dressed in white (including Cyndi Lauper and Camila Cabello), it was an exceptional, empowering moment in the face of all Kesha has had to go through with Dr Luke, and the challenges women in the music industry face in general (highlighted by the lack of women winning awards at the ceremony!). (ML)

Lady Gaga – ‘John Wayne’
Lady Gaga had to cancel 10 of her upcoming tour dates last week, after announcing that she was in chronic pain due to suffering from fibromyalgia (a condition which can cause pain all over the body). I’m gutted I’ll have to wait even longer to see The Grammy award-winning singer, but I’ve got good company and good gin lined up to drink the pain away. I’ll be raising a glass to her swift recovery whilst simultaneously belting out the lyrics to this Joanne track. (KC)

EMA – ‘Breathalyzer Instrumental’
This epic track is taken from EMA’s recent EP Outtakes From Exile, and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s twenty minutes of intriguing noise which broods somewhere between intense awareness, and a need to be aurally anesthetised. An intoxicating sonic assault that should not be skipped! (KC)

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