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Soccer Mommy - Color Theory (Album Review)

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Brian Ziff

Sophie Allison’s second LP as Soccer Mommy is a nuanced, exciting expansion on a sound that had already made the Nashville musician one of indie-rock’s most arresting new voices. Throughout ‘Color Theory’ she finds fresh pockets of space, filling them with disintegrating synths, washes of reverb and spidery lead guitar lines. Her voice snakes between these outposts, dispensing melodies that land on a sliding scale between exuberant and weary.

The follow up to Allison’s 2018 breakthrough ‘Clean’, which essentially drew a line under her days as a DIY bedroom pop artist, is divided into three segments: blue, yellow, and grey. The first deals with depression, the second with illness, both physical and mental, and the third with death.

‘Color Theory’ was recorded with returning producer Gabe Wax, and it’s safe to say it’s not a buzzy slab of barbecue playlist bops, then.

But Allison’s knack for an earworm hook—notably on the heartbreaking missive to her sick mother Yellow is the Color of Her Eyes—allows her to wrongfoot our emotional reactions.

That dynamic is also in full view on the single Circle The Drain, where threads are pulled free from a knot of anxieties over a dreamy, shoegaze-adjacent riff that practically begs us to float away with it. Again, Allison won’t let us take the easy way out. “Hey, I've been falling apart these days,” she tells us in the opening line of the chorus.

Allison has no time for glib, easy sentiments and she resolutely refuses to wrap a tidy bow around ‘Color Theory’. There isn’t a beginning, middle and end—the future is a series of questions. The closing line on the LP’s final song Gray Light, which is delivered just before it abruptly ceases existing, is: “I'm watching my mother drown.” The music might stop, but the reality rolls on.

Soccer Mommy Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue June 16 2020 - BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Thu June 18 2020 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Fri June 19 2020 - BRISTOL Trinity Centre
Sat June 20 2020 - BIRMINGHAM Castle and Falcon
Mon June 22 2020 - LEEDS Belgrave Hall & Canteen
Tue June 23 2020 - GLASGOW St Luke's
Wed June 24 2020 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Thu June 25 2020 - LEICESTER O2 Academy2 Leicester

Click here to compare & buy Soccer Mommy Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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