Color Theory by Soccer Mommy (AKA Sophie Allison) is the follow up to 2018’s rather marvellous Clean. Here she lays herself bare to listeners through unflinchingly honest lyrics that detail her struggles with mental health and her family. It seems that writing about these issues has been a cathartic process for the resilient 22 year-old.
Vinyl LP £18.99 LVR856
Black vinyl LP on Loma Vista.
CD £10.49 LVR855
CD on Loma Vista.
Limited Vinyl LP £18.99 LVR970
Limited edition, indies only coloured vinyl LP on Loma Vista.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Limited edition
It’s nice when a smallish artist gets a bit of that good good label money and they can suddenly afford things like ‘art direction’ and ‘studio time’. The artwork for Soccer Mommy’s studio debut, ‘Clean’, had a picture Sophie Allison sat under the album’s title spray painted on the wall. And the music? Well that fell squarely into the lo-fi camp.
Now she’s back with ‘color theory’ and boy what a difference a few years make. The artwork and production both sound as if Allison was able to spend money on them. And to my eyes and ears, that’s money well spent. There was no denying her songwriting chops, ‘Clean’ was a wonderful debut, but on ‘color theory’ there’s a very real feeling that things are exactly as she wanted them to be.
The whole record sounds incredibly lush. The moments that aren’t filled with her guitar playing or singing are washed out with synth, giving the record a intensely lurid glow worthy of its artwork. This richness suits her songwriting, Allison is more than willing to throw down a tasty chord change or a catchy guitar motif, and things like that tend to sound better in technicolor.
There’s even a seven minute song here, the wonderful ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’. Its second act strips things back to just Allison and her guitar before an enormous climax complete with chessy guitar melody. Though my favourite songs are the smaller ones. ‘Night Swimming’ features a backdrop of an excited crowd that makes the yearning in its lyrics all the more potent, “I want someone who's following a dream, to want like me”. Best though is ‘stain’, the tension of is chord changes ramped all the way up thanks to a panned vocal duet.
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