Tekst: Jaap van Hamond
Her new album Sometimes, Forever features some of Sophie Allison’s most complex compositions. Armed with cohesive production and her recognizable song writing, Soccer Mommy takes on the action: ecstasy and misery, good and evil. eventually she comes to the conclusion that they are inescapable part of life, often occurring. Along the way, the American makes clever use of elements from new wave, sludge rock and goth.
Sophie Allison’s talent as a songwriter took centre stage on her debut Clean. The second album Color Theory deepened that talent further, but with a more exuberant sound. Now, with album number three, the meaningful context continues its greatest change, and Soccer Mommy sounds richer in life experience and adept at self-reflection. But it doesn’t go without saying: “I hate so many parts of the music industry, but I do want success,” Allison says. Not only that, she wants perfection, knowing it’s an unachievable dream: “I want to make things that sum up exactly what I think and feel”.
The change partly takes the form of sought-after producer Daniel Lopatin, best known for his experimental work as Oneohtrix Point Never and collaborations with pop. Although the collaboration may not seem obvious at first glance, Lopatin may be able to give Soccer Mommy’s indie rock sound a refreshing electronic twist with verve.
This twist in new landscape context also gives Allison an outlet for “Unholy Affliction,” which rises like a precariously jagged mountaintop above the Destiny-sloping, melancholic of Soccer Mommy’s discography. The synths sound cursed, the rhythms fragmented, her vocals apathetic: “I’m tired of money, and all this talk to me”. Of course that doesn’t mean that the dreamy tunes are inferior to the raw ones. Previous singles ‘Shotgun’ and ‘Bones’ are delightful shoegaze-y cuts with beautiful melodies and fine vocal hooks. And on closing track ‘Still’ we meet Allison at her most honest. It’s almost disturbing how open she is about the pain she’s going through, dealing with depression and mental instability: “White pills, take everything away. Drive to the bridge, just to stop the thinking.” Supported by a simple guitar part and magical synths, it is one of her most poignant songs ever.
At times, Forever, save for a few forgettable moments, quite a addition to Soccer Mommy’s discography. They agree on in Amsterdam on September 15, and in Nijmegen on September 16.
Label: Loma Vista / Virgin