Soccer Mommy’s sophomore album Color Theory is a gut punch of pure emotion. Nashville’s 22 year old singer-songwriter Sophie Allison has crafted a spectrum of emotions batched into three colors. Blue for sadness, yellow for illness and gray for loss. You’ll hear it loud and clear as Sophie bares it all with this intimate collection of pop and alt-rock tunes that resembles your favorite 90’s hits.
Each 3-4 song section has a distinct mood. The instrumentation is carefully placed to support these emotions as Allison’s soothing voice explores her inner sadness, anxiety and grief. Expect the same level of honesty from the one of the best bedroom pop singer-songwriters to ever emerge from bandcamp.
The track “Circle the drain” feels like cold weather. Sophie sings about depressive episodes, that feeling you just can’t escape from as she sings “Things feel that low sometimes / Even when everything is fine.” The guitar chords and singable melodies makes this feel like it came right out of a 90’s teenage drama.
“Royal screw up” is a straight to the point, stripped down song of self depreciation and insecurity but littered with lightness and witty wordplay like “My room is a kingdom / For the princess of screwin’ up”. These two tracks are what I feel embody the blue theme.
“Yellow is the color of her eyes” is the most gut-wrenching song in the album. It’s about her mom who is battling terminal illness and her worries about time slipping away. It mirrors her confronting her own mortality. It’s lo-fi, dreamy and terribly relatable. A blind man would know what yellow is from listening to this song. You may need to take a moment after diving into this.
The clouds grow dark and the gloom comes in at the tail end of the album with “Stain”. The guitar hums with a singular foreboding riff repeating all throughout. The song is about a break up that leaves a bad mark with you that never comes out.
We end with “grey light”, a slow and somber tune that deals with loss. The beauty in this song is all the different elements coming in gradually in the beginning and culminating with a swirling climax at the end. Several synths and industrial sounds are used to great effect, like individual rays of light going down through a curtain of clouds.
Emotion is the number one focus of this album, and as a byproduct, the songs are inherently cinematic. The sound gives off a vivid visual element that can only come from careful and intentional arrangements. Each track would be perfect for film. But it’s not like the album is all doom and gloom, as the poetry in the lyrics adds in a subtle humor and cleverness that shows acceptance in all of these life situations.
Allison’s second album is very mature and sincere, and her ability to be introspective and express the feelings that other people shy away from makes Soccer Mommy one of the better up and coming artists that everyone should be looking out for.
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