“Color Theory sees Allison explore mental health and despair with a refreshing sense of maturity that at times is extremely poignant. Yet, littered throughout the album there is catharsis, a sense of release that one gets from bearing all so openly.”
WORDS BY WILL RICHARDS
Soccer Mommy, AKA twenty-two-year-old Sophie Allison, released her sophomore album, Color Theory, on the 28th Feb. Color Theory sees Allison explore mental health and despair with a refreshing sense of maturity that at times is extremely poignant. Yet, littered throughout the album there is catharsis, a sense of release that one gets from bearing all so openly. The album is split up her album into three distinctive segments, ‘blue’, ‘yellow’ and ‘grey’ all addressing her continuing struggles with mental health and family struggles.
The first four songs or the ‘blue’ section (bloodstream, circle the drain, royal screw up, night swimming) depict images of Allison’s crippling depression as she juxtaposes the warmth of her melodies with the cold, harsh pictures painted by her lyrics. bloodstream contrasts her almost idyllic upbringing to the troubles with self-harm that she currently faces.
“Remembering running through my yard like a wild stream… but I know it’s waiting there, and it’s gonna come for me.”
Here Allison longs for the naivety and innocence of a lost childhood and of a life not riddled with anxiety and depression.
The middle four songs (crawling in my skin, yellow is the color of her eyes, up the walls) illustrate the physical toll that her mental health issues are having upon her body. On one of the clear album standouts yellow is the color of her eyes Allison paints a bleak picture of her mother’s fight with cancer and the continuing battle with grief that will inevitably consume her. The physical toll that these events are having upon her are felt most astutely in this section and remind us of the physical impact that loss can have upon us.
The final three songs of the album (lucy, stain and gray light) denote the colour grey (yes, typing ‘color’ repeatedly throughout this writing process has nearly given me an aneurysm). A distinct darkness can be felt from the final tracks on the album as Allison ponders about the existence of a “noose (that) follows me closely whatever I do” as she struggles to deal with her own mortality. Allison is almost primal in her response as she faces up to the devil himself on lucy.
Yet the songs are not entirely sombre in their nature. Scratch a little below the surface and these songs are almost purifying for the soul, with their existence cathartic for both the listener and Allison herself. The lyrics are not frilly, as Allison unloads her introspective criticism for all to hear. However, the light nature of her voice occasionally offers a small glimpse of hope through avid despair. Allison’s authenticity compliments the sincerity of her music and with it comes evidence of maturity since her debut. Under the watchful eye of Gabe Wax (who produced 2014’s ‘Lost in the Wind’ by The War on Drugs), Soccer Mommy is one name that is surely going to continue to rise within the world of indie, and I for one am excited to see where this project can go.
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