ALBUM REVIEW: Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

Release Date: February 28th 2020
Label: Loma Vista Recordings


Following up from the critically-acclaimed ‘Clean’, singer/songwriter Soccer Mommy has removed the warm and enclosed acoustics for shimmering and bright soundscapes for ‘Color Theory’.

Whilst the sonic palate may be sweeter, the lyrical components are darker and bleaker than before, with Sophia Allison diving unashamedly into depression, mental and physical illness, and mortality, with each subject dividing the record.

Opening with chunky palm-muting and loose acoustic chords, ‘Bloodstream’ deceptively crafts a dreamy and light run through mid 90s alternative indie. Mixed with Allison‘s stark and open lyrics, the track worms its melodies around brushes of gliding notes and noise rock flourishes.

With a strong Sheryl Crow influence driving ‘Circle The Drain’, the shoe gaze tendencies of its predecessor are complimented alongside Allison‘s bittersweet and raw verses, with lines such as “Hey, I’ve been falling apart these days / Watching my heart go round and round” defying the buoyant pop hooks of the track.

As the first act of the record covers depression, ‘Night Swimming’ closes the section with an intimately finger-picked lullaby as opposed to the alternative rock leanings of the previous tracks, a fitting end to the section.

With the second act tackling a different subject, the soundscape of the record shifts slightly, moving towards post-punk leanings in ‘Crawling In My Skin’, and jumping headfirst into experimental pop-rock with ‘Yellow Is The Color Of Her Eyes’.

A standout of the record, not only is the track lyrically fearless and unrelenting in its subject matter, it also shows that as an artist Soccer Mommy can do whatever she wants and pull it off. Playing with re-occurring motifs, shuffling drums, and a revolving door of synths and electric guitars, the song plays with melody and structure whilst hinging on Allison‘s hypnotic vocal performance.

After a experimental middle act, ‘Lucy’ moves towards country pop with an alternative rock influence. Delivering crashing choruses and portraying a claustrophobic soundscape, it navigates the themes of loss with a strong set of hooks behind it.

Ending on ‘Gray Light’, intimate melodies transform into wonky synths and sliding samples, highlighting the stylistic shifts between ‘Color Theory’ and ‘Clean’, yet both records are anchored by Allison‘s brutal honesty. It’s an honesty that yet again takes centre stage, closing the record with the abrupt “I’m watching my mother drown”.

A compelling and bold record, ‘Color Theory’ creates an avenue to wherever Soccer Mommy wants to go.

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