Soccer Mommy brings us bittersweet, no-frills guitar pop with new album 'Clean'
Tuesday 27th March 2018 | David
Delivering youthful longing and vulnerability in a crisp, no-frills guitar pop package, the studio debut of singer-songwriter Sophie Allison – better known as Soccer Mommy – is an album of many small pleasures that add up to a compulsively listenable whole.
Her songs are bittersweet tales of infatuation, envy, self-doubt and disappointment from the perspective of someone young enough for these experiences to still feel new. There's an appealing sense of melodrama to Allison's lyrics, which show a particular fondness for the imagery of nature – especially the cruel parts.
In despondent opener ‘Still Clean’, she isn’t just looking for a lover; she’s “in the forest hunting for a wolf” – a doomed endeavour which ends with the grisly image of a severed ring finger falling from a beast’s bloody teeth. Conveying similar visuals in a rather different mood, the more upbeat ‘Cool' has Allison singing her admiration for a self-assured stoner girl who’ll “break you down and eat you whole,” before wistfully concluding in the chorus, “I wanna be that cool.”
She need not worry since a natural cool permeates the entire album. Allison’s understated, endearingly unrefined vocals prove equally suited to introspective ballads and whimsy-tinged power pop. These are songs of yearning and self-deprecation that embody both the thrill of a romantic daydream and the underlying uncertainty that such fantasies will ever come true.
There have undoubtedly been more ambitious albums released this month than Clean. How many of those releases attain the effortless poise and consistency of these ten tracks is another question.