The dreaded second album is an adage as old as time yet Sophie Allison— AKA Soccer Mommy—seems to have skipped that potentially hazardous moment and just gone straight ahead to ‘acclaimed artist’, as she delivers her sophomore record Color Theory with a heightened sense of self.
Out on Loma Vista, the record is a sign of things to come and Allison’s maturation behind the mic. The singer encapsulates all and nothing in her latest effort, every moment feels more intense, more urgent, more easily transferred, it’s as if the saturation has been turned way up.
When Allison first arrived on the scene in a blur of Bandcamp recommendations, her tracks were hazy and felt deliberately sparse. But the time Allison had honed her craft for a debut record, 2018’s Clean, she was a polished, clinical and cutting songwriter and performer. On Color Theory, she has yet again stepped up another notch.
The reason for such a leap in artistic evolution has been a heavy process to endure: “I wanted the experience of listening to Color Theory to feel like finding a dusty old cassette tape that has become messed up over time, because that’s what this album is: an expression of all the things that have slowly degraded me personally,” Allison said in a statement.
“The production warps, the guitar solos occasionally glitch, the melodies can be poppy and deceptively cheerful. To me, it sounds like the music of my childhood distressed and, in some instances, decaying.” It’s an accurate description of an album that is both equally full of bedroom-dancing sing-a-longs as it is isolated moments of reflection, Color Theory, in this way, acts as a reflection of Allison’s own growth.
Moving into the world of semi-fame and the gruelling demands on indie artists these days means her material has become engulfed by the melancholy of modern society as displayed on ‘royal screw up’. When this sentiment is put together with singles ‘circle the drain’, ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’ and ‘lucy’ we have a far darker expression than we’ve ever seen from Allison.
Yet such is her talent that these moments don’t feel incomprehensible or conceited, in fact, the very opposite. Instead, they feel like authentic moments of sharing, of artistic expression in the place of therapy and the reaching hand of someone who may already understand. It’s not the inky black of the night but the first breaks of a deeply purple morning.
Listen to Soccer Mommy’s Color theory below