For the most part, Sophie Allison’s Twitter feed reads like that of any other 20-year-old. There are plenty of retweets featuring popular memes and more than enough self-deprecating jokes. But the retweets from different music outlets and the pinned tweet at the top of her page indicate something different.
Allison is not the typical 20-year-old. Under her moniker Soccer Mommy, she releases her own brand of pop rock music, noticed by the likes of the New York Times, NPR and other media outlets.
Her stage name comes from her original Twitter handle, which she described as being a joke.
“When I had first started, before it was even going anywhere, I just thought it’d be funny and I ended up making it my Bandcamp name because I thought it was funny and cute,” Allison said. “Eventually it all blew up and it’s still Soccer Mommy, so that’s how it just stuck.”
Her love affair with music started when she was only 5 years old, surrounded by the music her parents loved.
“My parents were always playing music. They’re not really musical, but they are big music fans, especially my dad,” Allison said. “I got a guitar at a benefit show — like a really shitty one that you can’t really play, but I wrote songs with it and after like a week my parents got me a little baby acoustic.”
With her new guitar, Allison said she began taking lessons, which she continued throughout high school where she was part of a swing band and guitar quartet. Still, for years, no one but Allison herself and her Bandcamp followers knew anything about her Soccer Mommy project.
It was only after Allison graduated high school a few years ago did she begin actively pursuing music. Though she released several songs and EPs on her own, her first official debut album Clean will be out on Fat Possum Records March 2.
“It’s really a total formulative thing for me,” Allison said. “It took a year of my life to make. It kind of goes through these themes of relationships and trying to be someone you’re not and kind of realizing you can’t really escape who you are and the things that make you who you are. You just kind of have to accept yourself and be how you are in relationships.”
The first single from the album is a haunting track called “Your Dog.” Beginning with the line, “I don’t want to be your fucking dog that you drag around,” the song goes into a relationship where Allison obviously feels trapped, but still makes it known she will not stand for being treated badly.
The music video for the song echoes this sentiment, going through a startling narrative of Allison writing on the face of what is assumed to be her murdered boyfriend and then dragging his body around her apartment building.
Though this interpretation of the song may seem harsh, the line, “I’m not a prop for you to use when you’re lonely or confused. I want a love that lets me breathe, I’ve been choking on your leash,” makes all the difference. Here is a young woman who has been stuck in a less-than fulfilling — perhaps verging on abusive — relationship and Allison needs to get out, even if it means murdering someone in a music video.
Another stand out song from the upcoming album is “Blossom (Wasting All My Time).” The midpoint of Clean, the song is stylistically and lyrically simple, but contains a powerful story of a once heartbroken singer finding new love. The first half states, “Wasting all my time wondering if you really loved me,” while she closes with the line, “I found someone who has time to show me they really love me.” In a world and album of heartbreak, “Blossom” offers a nice juxtaposition and message that the darkness will not last forever.
When writing, Allison said she takes inspiration from moments that feel important and dramatic to her.
“Little moments that are kind of like snapshots of a story almost,” Allison said. “I try to piece those together and make something that I imagine would sound like a soundtrack to that kind of moment for myself. It just kind of comes out of life and experience.”
Though she draws her lyrics from her own life, Allison said her stylistic inspirations come from her favorite artists both now and growing up. She points to artists such as Avril Lavigne, Taylor Swift, Mitski and Joni Mitchell as being her biggest inspirations. These influences can be heard clearly throughout Clean, though Allison combines them to make her own self-described pop rock.
Soccer Mommy is currently touring alongside Phoebe Bridgers, coming to The Mothlight on Feb. 16. Allison describes her live shows as a bit fuller than her recordings and said her shows are a fun pop rock experience.
Allison may only be 20 years old, but her Soccer Mommy project is paving the way for a new generation of young female musicians. Not only is Allison inherently cool, selling her albums in a variety of forms — including cassette tapes — she is also talented enough to hold her own in a harsh industry. She even encourages other people to do the same.
“If you wanna make music, just do it,” Allison said. “It doesn’t matter if other people don’t like it. Just do it for yourself.”