But nothing could prepare for the staggering emotional heights scaled on Allison's sophomore album Color Theory, which centred around her depression and her mother's terminal illness. On the centrepiece of that album - the seven-minute epic "Yellow is The Color of Her Eyes" - she sang of her mother's fading health and her inability to hold herself together in the face of it. "Loving you isn't enough / You'll still be deep in the ground when it's done / I'll know the day when it comes / I feel the cold as they put out my sun" are the song's final lines.
Gracing many a year-end best-of list, color theory, Sophie Allison's sophomore album as Soccer Mommy, was hard to avoid at the end of 2020 -- not that anyone would want to. A decisive step forward from 2018's already notable Clean, it established the NYC-based artist as a talented songwriter apart from the already burgeoning wave of newcomers exploring (and sometimes just retreading) '90s grunge and alternative sounds. Those albums were produced by indie expert Gabe Wax (the War on Drugs, Deerhunter, Fleet Foxes), a smart, welcome-to-the-big-leagues sort of option -- but for Allison to go with Daniel Lopatin for her latest, Sometimes, Forever, is vastly more interesting.
Over the past four years, Soccer Mommy bandleader Sophie Allison has ascended from the world of sparse and scratchy Bandcamp releases into an indie rock forerunner, marrying some of the genre's most desolate lyrcisim with a bold melodic ear born from turn-of-the-millennium pop. With her last album, 2020's color theory, she offered insular and morbid musings while bringing her instrumentals and production to some truly dazzling new places. But even the quality of her last release belied the direction she would turn to for her latest effort, Sometimes, Forever.
Sifting through the candy aisle
Despite my best efforts to analyze her music, at the end of the day I really just want to share a Coca-Cola with Sophie Allison. The carefree and often 90s-influenced songs under her Soccer Mommy moniker come with a tender relatability that's hard to shun. And while her music has undoubtedly struck some nerves in the past, her best moments have always been tied to specific songs - her entire albums often struggling to mimic the same unwavering confidence and spark that makes her a special artist.
Sophie Allison moves away from her folky roots to create something rawer, fuzzier and more experimental Sometimes, Forever is Sophie Allison (aka Soccer Mommy)’s third album, and there seems to be a sense of gears being changed. When she first appeared, Allison was pigeon-holed with the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus as spearheading a new wave of young, female singer-songwriters. Which is true, but Sometimes, Forever demonstrates that there’s plenty more to Allison than first meets the eye.
"What is a dream but a light in the darkness, a lie that you wish would come true?" On 'newdemo', Soccer Mommy offers listeners some of her most experimental exploring yet. True to the gentle vocals her fans know and adore, 25-year-old Sophie Allison blends atmospheric string sounds and new wave influences as she enters new sonic territory. From the way she embellishes tracks with tambourines and electronic flourishes, 'Sometimes, Forever' is a marker of a completely new era.