When I drive back to my hometown of Kansas City from Columbia, I’ll often put on an album I missed at its release. On one such drive, I put on Soccer Mommy’s latest record “Clean.” I fell in love with its clean melodies and insecure lyrics like on the song “Last Girl” where she cries, “I want to be like your last girl / She's the sun in your cold world and / I am just a dying flower.” Instead of listening to the other records I had in my backlog, I just kept “Clean” on repeat.
Soccer Mommy is visiting Columbia on Feb. 28, where she will perform for the True/False Film Fest at Cafe Berlin.
Sophie Allison’s work under the name Soccer Mommy got me addicted to the new wave of young, female singer-songwriters like Lindsey Jordan and Lucy Dacus (check out Jordan’s “Lush” and Dacus’ “Historian” if you haven’t already). I would get withdrawals if I didn’t listen to their records. It was bad.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one addicted though, because Allison’s career has taken off like a rocket since “Clean”– she’s toured with Liz Phair, Phoebe Bridgers and she has an upcoming tour with indie-rock behemoths Vampire Weekend. But as the old cliche goes, “you must know where you came from to know where you’re headed.”
The 21-year-old got her start in Nashville, uploading songs to Bandcamp the summer before she went to college. After a couple of years living in New York City while studying at New York University, she dropped out in 2017 and headed back home. Like so many other liberal arts students before her, Allison wondered if her degree would actually be of any use. Her master plan? Go all in on her music.
She spent the next fall finishing up “Clean” and touring with one of her idols, Mitski, and the shoegaze legends Slowdive.
“Clean” was released in March of 2018 to critical acclaim. It’s easy to see why – the sound is captivating, the songwriting is straightforward, and the emotions hit hard. Fans and critics alike latched onto its fiery yet pensive lyrics. The album has a way of sucking its listener into Allison’s world, something I attribute to its overwhelming confidence. On the track “Your Dog,” it’s easy to get mad at Allison’s ex, even though you’ve never met him. Then there’s “Blossom (Wasting All My Time),” which makes even the most popular guy feel lonely. There’s a reason just about every music publication had this record on their “Best Albums of the Year” lists.
In support of “Clean,” Allison began touring, which brings us to where she is now.
So why should you listen to Soccer Mommy? She’s a 21st century indie success story whose latest record was one of the best of 2018. But be warned – her music can be dangerously addicting.
Edited by Joe Cross | firstname.lastname@example.org