I have been circling actually giving Soccer Mommy a proper song of the day post for a months now. I’ve been aware of the name and the ‘easy indie sound’ for a couple of years at this point. I had Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy in the same box early on. While that’s not wildly inaccurate there are closer comparisons in bands like Geowulf and Warpaint who have featured here before. Dream Pop is not the immediate categorization though so I’ll swerve away from Jennie Vee and a little closer to Kurt Vile or Courtney Barnett.
Is that enough name dropping to show how little I actually know about Soccer Mommy? Good, as long as we’ve established I don’t know what I’m talking about I feel I can move on. Or at least digress. The name stands out as post ironic given the age of the artist. Her real name is Allison. Calling her Soccer Mommy feels weird* but given some of the hidden tricks in her recorded arsenal I can respect that. We’re two albums in at this point and the wordy confessional indie pop of Clean and Color Theory has built a niche for itself. Evident rather well on singles Your Dog or Circle The Drain is the Soccer Mommy ‘keep it cool and low key catchy’ formula. This works well enough but when an artist does something as discombobulating as the phase shifted distorting on the solo at the end of Cool you know better than to underestimate them.
If Pip Blom has cornered the frantic Lo-Fi version of the same scene and Pale Waves have gone for the synths and swollen 90’s choruses, then Soccer Mommy has the curve ball of doing hypnotic melody in her vocals.
I could listen to her voice all day. The songs seems to slow time itself down for moments here and there. On Cool it’s blatant studio trickery. On Yellow Is The Color Of Her Eyes the time slowing down effect is written into the song. With more reverb in the chiming guitars and a production set to luxurious slo-fi the track shows how far Allison has come in only a couple of years. Sonic’s wise it starts like someone is playing old Motown in the room the next door. Then that steady chug of FX free indie guitar allows the chiming to mix around the space of her unhurried confident vocal. It’s quite effective. Low key rather than low energy.
The same kind of accomplished small world building works just as well on debut album singles Scorpio Rising and Circle The Drain. A trio of tunes that capture the cool of idle youth.
*especially as I’m old enough to remember the Everclear song about the Volvo Driving Soccer Mom