Soccer Mommy - twenty-year old Nashville native Sophie Allison - will release her highly anticipated debut LP Cleanin a few weeks, and today she shares the album’s third single. While the record’s previous singles “Your Dog” and “Cool” exhibit a new, harder-hitting sound and full band direction for Soccer Mommy, “Still Clean” is a gorgeous return to roots. A stunner of an opening track, “Still Clean” showcases a solo Allison at her best with just her voice, an electric guitar, and, as always, heartbreakingly relatable lyrics. It’s also a bridge of sorts, with synth flourishes rising in a crescendo behind her, ushering the listener into Soccer Mommy’s new, high-definition world.
“‘Still Clean' discusses the hopelessness of waiting for someone who's abandoned you,” explains Allison. “It uses this idea of being 'clean' to explain the feeling of being stuck waiting for someone, hoping that they haven’t moved on from you. When you are stuck in this place of waiting you kind of put your world - and you memory of them - on pause. But as the song shows, sometimes people keep moving while you're standing still, and sometimes you're the only one who's left clean."
Soccer Mommy - twenty-year old Nashville native Sophie Allison - recently announced her debut album Clean, and today she shares its second single. Showcasing Allison’s growth as a lyricist, “Cool” is a meditation on identity, on wishing to be someone else for a while. “The song focuses on this other person who's desirable and cool, and it shows how sometimes you can romanticize the idea of being different than you are,” explains Allison. “It comes from a place of insecurity and idealization, which is a feeling that hangs over a lot of the album."
Sophie Allison and her band will embark on a tour with Phoebe Bridgers throughout the US starting this weekend, and will be playing a UK tour in March, coinciding with the release of her debut album Clean on 2nd March. The tour takes in Leeds, Manchester, London’s Moth Club and finishes up in Brighton. Full details below, tickets on sale now.
The debut album from Soccer Mommy!! It’s called Clean,and it’s really amazing. Clean is out March 2nd.
Preorder the album here.
Sophie Allison got her start in the local Nashville DIY scene, going to shows and hanging out with other musicians, though she kept her own songwriting secret. “I’ve played music since I was six,” says Allison, “and I always wrote songs just for myself. I did it for fun, posting songs on Tumblr, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud. I didn’t think anyone would notice.” All that changed the summer before Allison left for college at New York University. She bought a Tascam digital recorder and began to experiment with production, pushing the quality and craft of her songs to new heights.
Allison decided to start releasing her songs for free on Bandcamp under the name Soccer Mommy in 2015. A buzz began to grow, leading to live shows, a record deal, and 2017’s critically acclaimed bedroom-recorded compilation Collection. “I realized that I could do this full-time,” says Allison. “It was either quit school now and do it, or stop growing as an artist. It was now or never.” So Allison took the plunge. She quit school, moved back home to Nashville, shifting all her focus to music. She toured with Mitski, Jay Som, Slowdive, The Drums, and more with no signs of slowing down.
The higher production values Soccer Mommy chose to incorporate on this record play to Allison’s strengths, highlighting the maturity and growth of her songwriting. The music gains clarity and power, losing none of the trademark intimacy of her Bandcamp work, something Allison credits to days spent recording in Wax’s home studio. “It still felt do-it-yourself,” she says. “It was like being in a nicer bedroom, with better quality stuff. It was a natural progression. I’d always wanted my music to sound this way, I just didn’t have the means before.”
Clean is an emotional album, heavy on themes of growth, isolation, and change, but balanced by a lightness of touch, and with hooks to spare. “Still Clean” is a stunner of an opening track, with the signature warmth of Allison’s voice coupled with one of her best refrains. Her growth as a lyricist is most evident on “Cool”, a sharply observed character study describing an aloof stoner girl, so cool and untouchable, and the agony she inflicts on her boyfriend. “Flaw” is the comedown from a song like “Cool.” A melancholy ode to lovesick self-loathing that finds ecstasy in sadness. “Scorpio Rising” crystallizes these themes of identity, jealousy, and the desire to be someone else. Clean – the cohesive record Allison dreamt of making – is a true step forward, a strong and mature album from an artist just coming into her power.