Soccer Mommy – Color Theory – Album Review
by Killian Laher
First things first: Soccer Mommy is a terrible name for a band/project. But it’s the name for 22-year old Sophie Allison’s project, and this is her second album. Not exactly sure what the term ‘pop music’ means in 2020, but in my head, it sounds something like this.
Opening track ‘bloodstream’ gives a good indication of the sound of the album, strummed guitars, a steady beat and Allison’s relaxed vocals. It’s a sunny sound, reminiscent of the late 90s/early noughties girl-pop such as Alisha’s Attic, Natalie Imbruglia, Avril Lavigne etc. It’s a very ‘more-ish’ sound, revealing a little extra charm with each listen. ‘Circle the drain’ feels like a summer anthem in waiting with its Cure-like guitars and warm washes of keyboards. On the other hand, the picked guitars and soaring keyboards of ‘night swimming’ evoke high-quality singer-songwriter fare such as Elliott Smith and the Mark Kozelek of ten or more years ago (pre hip-hop phase).
It’s not all sweetness and smoothness, ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’ sounds blushingly sweet at first but when you listen closely an underlying sadness starts to seep through. There’s a little grit and crackle on the propulsive ‘crawling in my skin’, while proper moodiness permeates ‘lucy’, with a gauzy, descending guitar riff running through it. Closing track ‘gray light’ is a gloriously downbeat way to finish the album, all down-strummed chords and staring off into the middle distance.
There isn’t a huge amount of variation on the album, at times a sameness can set in, but it’s an album that you can put on and let it envelop you. It’s the little touches here and there that set it apart, the circling electric guitar on ‘royal screw up’, the perfectly strummed guitars with just a hint of electric here and there on ‘up the walls’ etc. If you’re looking for the soundtrack to the summer, this could very well be your first port of call.
Track List –
2. circle the drain
3. royal screw up
4. night swimming
5. crawling in my skin
6. yellow is the color of her eyes
7. up the walls
10. gray light
Circle the drain