Everyone has sad days. Some unfortunate souls have a generally sad demeanour, but these souls often make the most inspiring art. Angst is a fact of life, especially when we’re finally starting to grow into our own. Since her mid-teens, Sophie Allison has embraced her angst, creating some of the coolest indie pop we’ve heard in a while. Her project, Soccer Mommy, is the brainchild of all the raw, doubtful feelings we have at times when we’re at our most vulnerable. We had a chance to ask Soccer Mommy a few questions about the genre of “bedroom pop” and what it’s like to be an indie songwriter in the Big Apple. Later, we take a look at Soccer Mommy’s latest release Collection and explore what makes it so infectious.
Savage Thrills: The term “soccer mom” paints a picture of a devoted and driven, prim and perfect mother. Your music in combination with your subtly cutting lyrics under the title Soccer Mommy is an odd juxtaposition. Tell us about how that title came about?
Soccer Mommy: The name was actually kind of random – it was my twitter name for a while and then it just kind of became the band name. I never really put a lot of thought into it with regards to the music but I thought it was just kind of cutesy, which I think works with the content.
ST: I feel like your music is perfect for creating and listening to alone in your bedroom. What does “bedroom pop” mean to you?
SM: To me, bedroom pop is catchy/intimate songs that are created on someone’s computer rather than a real studio. I think bedroom pop kind of captures a quiet intimacy that a lot of other genres don’t capture as well. The low-fi vibe makes it feel more personal in my opinion.
ST: There are so many genres out there today. How did you come to create bedroom pop?
SM: I don’t think that I ever set out to make bedroom pop. It just kind of happened due to the way I was recording my songs. I was just trying to make some of the songs I had written come to life on a Tascam. I didn’t really think much of it until I started getting traction on the internet.
ST: You grew up in Nashville, is there still a lot of push to be a country or rock artist out there?
SM: I think there’s still a push to be some kind of rock or country for sure. There’s a little bit of hip-hop and electronic that has popped up, but a lot of the other stuff is country, punk, or psych rock stuff. I think that people in Nashville are open to a lot of different styles of music though. It seems like everybody appreciates all the different genres that people try to make.
ST: What was the most jarring/difficult about moving to New York as a Nashville native?
SM: The most jarring thing was just the difference in atmosphere from Nashville and New York. It’s a lot more relaxed in Nashville. You know a lot of people when you go out and you can just kind of hang out anywhere. In New York, it’s a lot more fast paced and people have a lot of drive to get to the top.
ST: You’ll be touring for what seems like half the year. Describe your routine during the tour, do you have one?
SM: My routine during the tour is not very good I think. I pretty much get sleep deprived and eat really sporadically. I do always shower and stay clean though, that’s definitely a must.
ST: Do you find the time to create while playing every other day, or are you focusing on the tour?
SM: Right now I’m pretty focused on touring, especially since I’ve finished writing the next thing I’m putting out. I do try to play my guitar or write a little bit when I get inspiration on the road. If I start to really feel something I try to write it down so I can come back to it again when I have time.
ST: Which stop on the tour are you most excited to play?
SM: I’m really excited to play New York. The venue is really great and I just get to see my friends and my team. I also just really want to be back in the city again, even though I was there a couple weeks ago. It’s just nice to still get to spend time there.
ST: How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist from your first release in 2015?
SM: I think I’ve grown as an artist in the way I handle my self-expression. I feel like I’ve come to know my self a lot better and it helps me to get a more honest part of myself out onto the paper. I’ve also just matured as a person so I think the subject matter has matured too.
ST: What are the most underlying themes on Collection?
SM: A lot of the underlying themes on Collection are based around insecurity and a feeling of general unhealthiness when it comes to relationships. I think it kind of highlights my anxieties and my feelings of unworthiness, but also the new songs show a sort of growth from that.
ST: What track are you most proud of on the album?
SM: I think I’m most proud of “Allison” because I recorded and produced that track all on my own in my dorm room. I’m also proud of the song because it was very different from my other work and it felt like a step into a new journey of mine.
ST: One fun question: What was your favorite cartoon growing up and why?
SM: Scooby Doo was probably my favorite. I just always liked the mysteries and the goofiness of it. Plus I liked the 70s vibe of the show.
The latest release by Soccer Mommy is called Collection, an assembly of 8 songs best suited for listening to on the bedroom floor with the lights dimmed low. Aptly named “bedroom pop,” Soccer Mommy has an indie feel with catchy guitar riffs and subtly cutting lyrics. Collection is not the first release by Soccer Mommy and surely won’t be the last. Allison has been releasing music since 2015, but this is by far the best and longest release yet. In comparison to previous releases, it’s an instant improvement in sound and quality while still holding true to the lo-fi feel her fans have grown to love. The guitar riffs catch the ear and the melodies flow freely and effortlessly. Allison’s voice is melancholy and consistently flowing with lyrics that most can relate to. Collection has a wide range of emotions, from confident to tragic. The track “3 AM At a Party” comes from the mouth of any girl crushing over someone, wishing and hoping for a different situation. At the same time, “Inside Out” has a confident feel of a girl reminiscing over someone she no longer cares to think about. All 8 tracks flow well together and the EP is great to listen to while relaxing, yet become somewhat repetitive as similar chords run back-to-back. Allison’s voice has very little inflection and has the same tone from track to track, which is both her forte and downfall. Overall, Collection is one that could easily be put on repeat, just don’t let the sassy sadness overcome.