Soccer Mommy


Soccer Mommy is the alias for 20-year-old musician and singer-songwriter Sophie Allison from Nashville, Tennessee. After having released two records in the last 2 years, one of which was produced in her very own bedroom, March 2018 has seen the release of her debut full-length studio album, Clean.

A few months ago, after hearing ‘Allison’ and ‘3am Party’ for the first time, I became hooked on her dreamy melodic vocals, and with a sense of nostalgia I was more drawn in by the lyrics of teenage angst, heartbreak and confusion.

In the middle of a mammoth tour, tonight Soccer Mommy headline at the Castle Hotel in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter, in the backroom of this building steeped in history, we are about to witness one of the key voices of the music scene’s present and future. As the crowd packs into the intimate room, sweaty, with the air-con dripping water onto the unsuspecting fans below, there’s the warm familiarity feel that only small gigs bring, my favourite kind. From the offset Allison projects a warmth to the crowd, laughing and joking with a charm that remains vulnerable, yet still with a confidence that I could have only hoped for as a 20 year-old.

As she takes us on a diary of her emotions, new track ‘Your Dog’ delivers an instant fierceness opening with ‘”I don’t want to be your fucking your dog/That you drag around”; fortified by a strong bassline, it oozes attitude. In contrast, amongst the whirring catchy guitar riffs, ‘Cool’ hears Allison in self-deprecating mode, longing “I wanna be that cool”, talking of Mary who treats boys like an “animal” – it’s these kind of song concepts that make her so relatable. About midway through the set, we see the rest of the band leave the stage while Allison solely delivers some more acoustic gems, including a wondrous cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’, which is more endearing than the original. As her band return to the room, they hover at the back with a humble nervousness, nursing their beer bottles, and you can almost see the relief when they get to scurry back to the safety of the stage.

Unusually for a gig there isn’t one track, one greatest hit, that soars above the rest, but ‘Still Clean’, the lead track from Clean, is so atmospheric live, making the audience tingle; whilst the journey back to 2017’s Collection, with songs such as the hazy jangles of ‘Inside Out’, and the fantasising, sultry sound of ‘Try’, are just lovely. The encore, after a few wishful chants of Switzerland, ends up being ‘Skinned Knees’ a stunning song from 2016’s For Young Hearts, and it makes me feel a little bit like I am falling in love for the first time again.

Not only are the positive reviews of Clean seemingly rising to the surface, but anyone who gets the chance to see Soccer Mommy live will be wooed. She may describe her sound as “kinda chill, kinda sad”, but I think it’s kinda impressive.

I really only wish I’d been that cool.

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Sarah Starkey

I am a Freelance Writer who is a bit music obsessive. Previously written for the likes of Music Vita and Planet Ivy. Life highlights include winning £2.50 on the Euro-millions.