Sophie Allison’s latest Soccer Mommy album, the Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never)-produced Sometimes, Forever was released earlier this year through Loma Vista/Concord. The critically applauded album sees Allison pushing her sound in new directions — but without eschewing the unsparing lyricism and catchy melodies that have won her attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere.
Inspired by the concept that neither sorrow nor happiness is permanent, Sometimes, Forever is a fresh peek into the mind of a bold, young artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the disorder of modern life — into music that feels built to last for a long time. The album’s material is also partly inspired by the uncomfortable push and pull between her desire to make meaningful art, her skepticism about the mechanics of careerism, and the mundane, artless administrative chaos that comes with all of it.
If you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of the past year or so, you might recall that this has been a busy year for the JOVM mainstay — and I’ve written about:
Sometimes, Forever single “Shotgun,” an infectious banger centered around a classic grunge song structure — quiet verses, explosive choruses paired with layers of distorted guitars, Allison’s achingly plaintive vocals, an enormous hook, thunderous drumming and a throbbing groove. “Shotgun” manages to liken a young romance to a sort of chemical high — but without the bruising and sickening comedown, which always comes after. But throughout the song, its narrator focuses on small moments in a love affair that’s imbued with a deep, personal meaning, “‘Shotgun’ is all about the joys of losing yourself in love,” explains Allison. “I wanted it to capture the little moments in a relationship that stick with you.”
Over the summer, rising indie electro pop outfit Magdalena Bay recently remixed “Shotgun” turning the track into a futuristic, glittery, club banger featuring glistening synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rattling thump and wobbling low end paired with Allison’s plaintive vocals fed through gentle amounts of vocoder and other effects. While being a decidedly bold and adventurous, the Magdalena Bay remix retains the core elements of the original — Allison’s penchant for earnest, lived-in lyricism, enormous hooks and the song’s overall woozy feel.
Right before, she started her current tour, which including a sold-out stop at Webster Hall earlier this month that I covered for the fine folks at Musicology.xyz she released a standalone single: “Darkness Forever (Sophie’s Version),” a decidedly lo-fi and woozy take on the album track centered of the around bubbling synths, strummed guitar, skittering and blown out beats paired with Allison’s ethereal and plaintive cooing. While the album version manages to be spectral and brooding with a stormy guitar solo to punctuate it all, Sophie’s version is creepier and evokes an uneasy sense of dread. “This version of ‘Darkness Forever’ is really exciting for me because it’s kind of what got me inspired to start working on the rest of the album,” Allison explains. “It felt new and fresh, and I had a lot of fun making it. When I was done with it, I felt very ready to work on more stuff for the record.”
Sometimes, Forever single “Feel It All The Time” is a slow-burning bit of singer/songwriter indie rock with bursts of glistening and twangy pedal steel serving as a meditative rooted in Allison’s introspective lyricism, which sees her using the metaphor of an old truck to compare the feeling of aging — way too fast.
“‘Feel It All The Time’ is a song that felt really easy and honest for me as soon as I wrote it,”explains Sophie Allison. “It uses this idea of an old truck to kind of compare this feeling of aging too fast. There are also these glimpses of light and freedom, from something as simple as the wind in your hair, that can make you feel alive.”
Directed by directed by Zev Magasis follows Allison in golden hour driving around in her beloved, beat-up truck with defiantly feminist bumper sticker — there’s a goddess on the loose, y’all! — and playing around as a knight, complete with mask and sword and riding a horse as though she were jousting.