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Soccer Mommy Croons of Sadness on “Clean”

By Peter Ntourntourekas; For the Clock
On March 18, 2018

Sophie Allison, known more formally by her stage name “Soccer Mommy,” has quietly slid into the indie rock scene over the last few years. Her songs began as a personal endeavor in her bedroom, not often seeing light beyond her quiet Bandcamp page. Those first few releases slowly gained popularity until her “Collections” album went viral in the summer of 2016. Since then, Soccer Mommy has been consistently releasing soothing indie rock that pleases her internet audiences.

On March 2, Soccer Mommy released her latest album, entitled “Clean.” Her latest work adds the same iconic soft lull that made her so famous in the first place. The opening song, “Still Clean,” is a guitar ballad populated only by vocals and an electric guitar. In certain movements, the background swells with an ethereal synth, but the song is exactly what Soccer Mommy is most known for. It’s a simple, yet catchy, guitar riff behind a repetitive and sincere chorus (“I’m only what you wanted for a little while.”).

Littered among the quiet pain is a much more aggressive, and kind of groovy, aching. The second song, “Cool,” opens with an echoed and distorted guitar that drops into a heavy bass and kick drum pattern that surprisingly rocks rather hard. This trend continues into other songs like “Your Dog,” where quick drums and a grimy bass back up Soccer Mommy’s declaration of, “I don’t want to be your f***ing dog that you drag around, collar on my neck tied to a pole, leave me in the freezing cold.” 

That being said, the album does a nice job of balancing the aggressive with the passive, letting ballads like “Blossom” and “Scorpio Rising” intercept the anger wave. The most genius move is in the closing track, “Wildflowers,” where Soccer Mommy recalls themes from previous tracks. The song and album close with a piano and guitar riff that recalls the melody from the intro track “Still Clean.” The instruments fade out, mimicking the cries of, “I’m only what you wanted for a little while,” from earlier, tying up the thematic loose ends and completing the narrative circle of the album.

This album is best described by the simple blurb on Soccer Mommy’s Bandcamp page: “chill but kinda sad.” There aren’t really any better words to describe the vibe on this album. Soccer Mommy consistently whispers and screams her growing agony into the microphone, and that’s what she’s best at. Even the more adventurous tracks on this record stand out as painfully sad, contrary to the “kinda” in the previously mentioned blurb.

To fully experience the landscape of this album, think back on the partner that got away and the one that still makes you mad to even think about. Soccer Mommy displays the full range of breakup grief on this album, and that alone makes it worth a listen.

Score: 8/10

Best Tracks: “Still Clean,” “Your Dog,” “Last Girl,” “Wildflowers”

Worst Tracks: “Skin”

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