New Release & Video: Soccer Mommy – color theory / circle the drain

Photo Credit: Brian Ziff

Soccer Mommy – twenty-two year-old Sophie Allison – has announced her second album, color theory. Confronting the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued Allison since pre-pubescence, color theory explores three central themes: blue, representing sadness and depression; yellow, symbolizing physical and emotional illness; and, finally, gray [sic], representing darkness, emptiness and loss.

Written mostly while on tour and recorded in Allison’s hometown of Nashville at Alex The Great, color theory was produced by Gabe Wax (who also produced Clean), mixed by Lars Stalfors (Mars Volta, HEALTH, St. Vincent), and features the live Soccer Mommy band on studio recording for the first time, with a live take at the foundation of almost every track.

color theory will be released on 28th February via Loma Vista, and the album’s lead single “circle the drain” has also been unveiled. Take a listen via its Atiba Jefferson-directed (American Football, Turnstile, TV On The Radio, Dinosaur Jr.) music video that was shot at an abandoned waterpark in Palm Springs and features pro-skateboarders Sean Malto, Jake Anderson, Curren Caples, and Nicole Hause…

Soccer Mommy has been been touring non-stop for the past few years, opening for the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Vampire Weekend, Paramore, Wilco and Liz Phair, selling out countless headline shows, and making her festival debuts at Coachella, Governor’s Ball, Primavera Sound, and more.

Recently she announced a full run of European dates for 2020, starting in Oslo on 4th June, and finishing up in Manchester on the 24th.

See below to find a show near you…

4th June – Oslo, Norway @ Parkteatret
5th June – Stockholm, Sweden @ Slaktkyrkan
6th June – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Hotel Cecil
8th June – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
9th June – Berlin, Germany @ Frannz Club
11th June – Koln, Germany @ Bumann & Sohn
13th June – Brussels, Belgium @ La Botanique
15th June – Paris, France @ Petit Bain
16th June – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
18th June – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
19th June – Bristol, UK @ Trinity
20th June – Birmingham, UK @ The Castle & Falcon
22nd June – Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall
23rd June – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
24th June – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla

For Sophie Allison, color theory is a distillation of hard-won catharsis. “I wanted the experience of listening to color theory to feel like finding a dusty old cassette tape that has become messed up over time, because that’s what this album is: an expression of all the things that have slowly degraded me personally,” Allison says. “The production warps, the guitar solos occasionally glitch, the melodies can be poppy and deceptively cheerful. To me, it sounds like the music of my childhood distressed and, in some instances, decaying.”

The melodies on color theory shimmer on the surface, but they reveal an unsettling darkness with each progressive listen. The album is thematically subdivided into three sections, each of which is named for a color [sic] that distills the mood Allison wanted to freeze in time. We begin with blue, a color [sic] that evokes a certain melancholy, and for Allison, illuminates depressive episodes and memories of inflicting self-harm. The next section is represented by yellow, a color [sic] that points to illness, both mental and physical. “My mom has been terminally ill since I was a pre-teen, and I never really found a way to deal with it,” Allison says. The final section, represented by gray [sic], addresses that fear of loss directly. “Watching my parents age and witnessing sickness take its toll made me think a lot about the cycle of life, and forced me to confront the paranoid sense that death is coming for me,” Allison says. But it’s not all tragic; moments of lightness appear on this album, too. Wise beyond her years, Allison is a songwriter capable of capturing the fleeting moments of bliss that make an embattled existence temporarily beautiful. With color theory, Allison’s fraught past becomes a lens through which we might begin to understand what it means to be resilient.

color theory investigates a traumatic past in exacting detail; in doing so, Allison finds inroads for healing through self-acceptance, and occasionally, humour. This isn’t a quest to uncover some long-since forgotten happiness so much as it is an effort to stare-down the turmoil of adolescence that can haunt a person well into adulthood. Allison is a gifted storyteller, one who is able to take personal experience and project it to universal scale. On color theory, she beckons in outsiders, rejects, and anyone who has ever felt desperately alone in this world, lending them a place to unburden themselves and be momentarily free.

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