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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

arts music review

COLUMN: Soccer Mommy’s ‘Sometimes, Forever’ is an original take on nostalgic sound


Soccer Mommy – aka Nashville-based indie pop singer Sophie Allison – thinks her feelings might last forever. Released on June 24, her third studio album, “Sometimes, Forever,” is an ode to seemingly inescapable emotions. 

Influenced by ‘90s indie rock and grunge and produced by the magnetic, electronic Oneohtrix Point Never, aka Daniel Lopatin, “Sometimes, Forever” is authentic, nostalgic and piercing. 

Allison’s acclaimed 2020 sophomore album “Color Theory” was a melancholic, emotional examination. Since her 2018 debut album “Clean,” Allison has matured and experimented with her sound, all while maintaining the same raw, witty lyricism. 

The album’s first track, “Bones,” is an angsty introduction to the 10 tracks that follow. Allison sings about being in a relationship while going through serious bouts of depression — feeling guilty for expending her partner’s energy and realizing the relationship has shifted along with her mental health. Having been vocal about her depression, “Bones,” sets the tone for the honesty that seeps into each one of Allison’s tracks. 

The fourth track, “Shotgun” — released as a single in March — is the poppiest, catchiest song on the album, but manages to maintain Allison’s broody aesthetic. While the track may sound cheerful, Allison is anything but. The upbeat guitar and baseline weave through lyrics about Allison’s killer devotion —“Whenever you want me, I’ll be around / I’m a bullet in a shotgun, waiting to sound.” 

Lopatin’s electronic sound coats “Newdemo” —the track meshes surreal synths with slow guitar strumming. Allison’s soft, mumbly voice and her apocalyptic lyrics (“The rain will pound us down / And before we know, the world will drown”) make “Newdemo” sound like the prettiest nightmare. 

“With U” combines smooth electric guitar with a dreamy synth pop background, undoubtedly Lopatin’s influence. Allison sings about unwillful obsession and falling so deeply for someone that it feels fated. 

By “Unholy Affliction,” the album’s  third track, Allison’s grit bleeds through. She blends synth, moody guitar and an intense grunge drumbeat that’s notably absent from her former songs. With lyrics like, “I’m barely a person / Mechanically working,” Allison critiques the greed she sees in the music industry, singing that she doesn’t want the “Fake kind of happy” promised to the rich and famous. 

This heaviness is carried throughout the album, like in “Darkness Forever.” The sixth track is the most jarring, making haunting allusions to Sylvia Plath’s suicide. The ninth track, “Following Eyes,” is sinister —Allison feels she’s being watched like in a horror film. Whether the track is a reflection on her growing fame, social media or just plain paranoia is up to listeners. 

Exhaustion drifts through the seventh track “Don’t Ask Me” — embodying the peace (and maybe despair) that comes with totally giving up. Complete with ‘90s nostalgia, Allison is cool and seemingly unaffected, crooning “My will is gone and I don’t feel a thing…/ So don’t ask me.” 

Throughout the album, Allison examines broken cycles. On “Feel It All The Time,” bad things seem to last forever. Allison sings, “Even the light is so temporary / I see the dark at the back of my heels / I feel it all the time.” Similarly, “Fire in the Driveway” is all about being burnt out in toxic relationships. Allison can’t let go of someone, despite knowing she should and being tired of the cycle. 

The album’s final track, “Still,” is its most personal. The track is saturated with Allison’s overwhelming honesty — she’s depressed, confused and stuck. She opens by saying “I don’t know how to feel things small / It’s a tidal wave or nothing at all.” On “Sometimes, Forever,” Allison is trapped in the cycle of her own feelings — like tidal waves in the ocean, her feelings will overwhelm, will come and go forever. 

Her third album is a feat for Allison. It manages to be sincere, poetic and charming, alluding to Allison’s grungy, indie predecessors without sounding inauthentic. At times, the album is so raw it feels like you’ve stolen someone’s diary. hankfully, Allison decided to share “Sometimes, Forever” with the rest of us.

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