Soccer Mommy’s rise over the last few years has been less of a back-of-the-net Messi screamer, and more a skilful slow-burn; think more along the lines of a playmaking Fabregas beavering away in the midfield for an entire game. After debut ‘For Young Hearts’ quietly picked up traction after a low-key release on Bandcamp, the more polished ‘Collection’ followed, giving a more fully-realised insight into exactly what Sophie Allison is capable of. Newbie ‘Out Worn’ - a brand new gem from her 2017 reissue - was perhaps the best example of the bunch, announcing that it’s “sick and tired of feeling undesired” atop her most pointed riffs yet.
While much of her early work dabbled - with a meticulous hand - in the world of low-risk fantasy and unreturned desire, ‘Clean’ blankens the slate, and plumes the landscape of frustration instead. “I don’t wanna be your little pet, at the edge of every bed you sleep in,” Sophie sings on ‘Your Dog,’ raising her voice to convey the message a little clearer for those at the back. “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog!”. And the plaintive ‘Scorpio Rising’ - taking its name from either astronomy, or a 1969 film about gay Nazi bikers (we’re guessing it’s the former, tbh) - starts out hushed but grows and grows by stealth; a fearsome shadow extinguishing the streetlights. And ‘Cool’ meanwhile is privy to her wittiest writing to date as she warns somebody off a girl named Mary in cutting verses: “Mary has a heart of coal / She’ll break you down and eat you whole / I saw her do it after school / She’s an animal.”
In typical Soccer Mommy fashion, there’s little flashy footwork to be found here; only expertly-shaped understated songs that give more with every listen. Stepping beyond the groundwork of her debut collection, and sounding all the more confident for it, Sophie Allison shoots, and she scores.