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We’re Crushing on Clean

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Bedroom pop as a genre hasn’t really made its foray into larger production spaces on the regular. When it does, the results can either feel fraudulent or forced. However, due to her strengths as a songwriter and as a performer, Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison didn’t get either of those results. On her full length Clean from earlier this year she offers up what feels like a personal journey penned by someone who can shred when they need to, or keep things singular when called for. Clean is in many ways, what any artist going from the bedroom to the studio, should strive to sound like.

The opening singularity of “Still Clean” feels like it’s coming from a narrative that was lived, not imagined. That’s the power of how Allison writes, all of the songs on Clean feel like accounts from a diary, while many of the songs pop and snap enough to stay in your head for weeks after hearing them just once. This occurs again on “Cool,” where the opening guitar swells hook you in, before the song changes structure while Allison’s vocals ring out like a warning to whoever she’s singing to. With “Your Dog,” the song has this melodic opening that doesn’t sound like a lot of the album, and it’s a gamble that pays off in strides.

However, aside from how strong the album opens, the magic lies in the between tracks-the ones that weren’t released as singles. The tender and heartfelt strums on “Flaw” hit like a punch to the gut, while the lyrics should resonate with listeners of any age. The bellowed guitar tones of “Blossom (Wasting My Time)” that mix with the saddest isolationist lyrics are only bloomed by the thick drum that faintly meets with a haunting piano, taking the song higher than it would without them. There’s a brightness that shines through on “Wildflowers” that gets as close to a singer songwriter vibe off the album, though once you hear it, you can’t imagine the song being played any other way.

That’s not to say there aren’t hidden gems from the record that lie underneath the emotional heft or the dark solo sounds. The catchy stride of “Last Girl” has head bopping moments from start to finish, the hook infused notes of how “Skin” opens before the drums and bass come in and pull you closer. The endearing heft behind “Scorpio Rising” before the track takes off and gain steam, where it’s just Allison’s voice and guitar are masterful and hard not to hold your attention. There’s so much weight to this record, so much intense youthful emotions, and such solid songwriting that it resonates with anyone who hears it, where it all feels real and not penned by someone who hasn’t lived any of it yet.

You can stream Clean on all streaming platforms, you can purchase it on Bandcamp as well as through all digital storefronts, or on multiple physical formats directly from Fat Possum Records. You can see Soccer Mommy on tour tonight at Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik until February 22 at Paramount Theatre in Denver. A complete list of their tour dates can be found here.

Image Credits: Photo by Natalia Mantini.

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David Garrick

David Garrick has spent the last five years interviewing some of the most intriguing and engaging artists performing today. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Phoebe Bridgers, Wire to Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail to Soccer Mommy, Ghost to First Aid Kit, The Breeders to Protomartyr, and many more. He's a giant fan of music of pretty much any genre; but especially to the underdogs. He's been known to see more concerts in a week than many people will see in a year.

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