Tag: Mitski

New Video: Soccer Mommy Releases a Creepy and Dread-Fueled VIsual for “crawling in my skin”

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy. Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band. In 2015, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began posting home-recorded sons as Soccer Mommy Bandcamp during the summer of 2015, just as she was about to head to New York University (my alma mater, no less!), where she studied music business at the University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

While she was in college, Allison played her first Soccer Mommy show at Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Silent Barn. She caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal — and after spending two years at NYU, she returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music. Upon her return to Nashville, the acclaimed Swiss-born artist wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts released through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection released through Fat Possum. Allison’s proper, full-length debut 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based artist has toured with Stephen Malkmus, Mitski, Kacey Musgraves, Jay Som, Slowdive, Frankie Cosmos, Liz Phair, Phoebe Bridgers, Paramore, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, and Wilco.

Before the pandemic, Allison was gearing up for this year to be a massive year: she started off 2020 by playing at one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and joined a lengthy and eclectic list of artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. Her highly-anticipated sophomore album color theory was released to critical praise earlier this year — and like countless artists across the globe, she was about to embark on a headlining tour with a number of dates sold-out months in advance that included a Glastonbury Festival set. And she was supposed to be make her late-night, national TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring at an indefinite halt, Allison, like countless other artists recognized that this period offered a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas and new ways to connect with fans. Combining her love of video games and performing, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based artist had a digital show on Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend. The show was so popular, that the platform’s servers crashed, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Of course, Allison has also played a number of live-streamed sets, including ones hosted by NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork‘s IG Live Series. She also released her own Zoom background images for her fans to proudly show off their Soccer Mommy fandom.

Earlier this year, Aliison and her backing band embarked on a Bella Clark-directed 8 bit, virtual music video tour that had the act playing some of the cities she had been scheduled to play if the pandemic didn’t happen — Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, and Austin. And instead of having the virtual shows at at a common tourist spot or a traditional music venue, the members of the band were mischievously placed in rather unusual locations: an abandoned Toronto subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge. Of course, the video tour featured color theory single “crawling in my skin,” a song centered around looping and shimming guitars, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming, subtly shifting tempos and an infectious hook.

Allison recently released an Adam Kolodny-directed, fittingly Halloween-themed visual for “crawling in my skin” that’s full of creeping and slow-burning dread that reminds me of Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe movies with Vincent Price. “I’m excited to put out this video for crawling in my skin right at the end of spooky season. I hope everyone enjoys this video and their Halloween! 🎃“ Allison says.

Throughout a significant portion of this site’s 10+ year history, I’ve managed to spill a lot of virtual ink covering the Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. Since the release of her full-length debut, 2012’s Contra, the JOVM mainstay has released two more albums, including 2017’s DOMINO, an EP and a handful of attention-grabbing singles — and she’s released much of that work to critical praise from a number of internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, The Line of Best Fit and NYLON, as well as airplay on BBC Radio 6. Building on a growing profile, Siik went on a European tour with Mitski to support DOMINO, which she followed up with headlining shows in Berlin and London.

Siik’s fourth full-length album will be released in two parts during Fall 2020 and Winter 2021. “Gate Keeper,” the album’s second single is a slow-burning and atmospheric track featuring whirring and wobbling synths and Siik’s plaintive vocals. And while seemingly easygoing, the song is centered around uneasy tension that feels familiar — particularly if you’ve been in love and have had to started anew.

“‘Gate Keeper’ is one of the key songs on the album. Like a little backbone,” the JOVM mainstay explains. “The melody wrote itself and has an ease about it, yet the lyrics is all about tension and resistance. I guess it’s about the art of trying to be there for someone else. Still be there for yourself. To be someone to count on in life and to trust, despite all your destructiveness and flaws. Maybe it’s when you dare to accept the shit that you carry around that you can fully be there and be loved? When you stop ignoring what scares you the most.”

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy.  Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band. By 2015, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began posting home-recorded songs as Soccer Mommy to Bandcamp during the summer of 2015, just as she was about head off to New York University, where she studied music business at the University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

While she was in college, Allison played her first Soccer Mommy show at Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Silent Barn. The Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal. After spending two years studying at NYU, Allison returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music.

Upon her return to Nashville, the acclaimed Swiss-born artist wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection through Fat Possum Records. Her proper, full-length debut, 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, Alison has wound up touring with Stephen Malkmus, Mitski, Kacey Musgraves, Jay Som, Slowdive, Frankie Cosmos, Liz Phair, Phoebe Bridgers, Paramore, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, and Wilco.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was gearing up to be a massive year for the young and rising singer/songwriter and guitarist: she began the year by playing at one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and had joined a list of contemporary artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. Allison’s highly-anticipated sophomore album color theory was released to critical applause — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Nashville-based artist had been gearing up for a massive year: she was about to embark one a headlining tour with a number of dates sold-out months in advance, along with that, she had lined up appearances across the global festival circuit that included a stop at Glastonbury. Additionally, she was supposed to make her late-night, nationally televised debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring being on an indefinite half for the music industry, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist recognized that this was a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas. Combining her love of video games and performing, Allison held a digital concert on the online gaming platform Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend it. The concert was so popular, that her fans crashed the platform’s servers, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Allison has also performed a number of live streams events, including  NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork‘s IG Live Series. And she also recently released her own Zoom background images.

Recently, Allison and company embarked on a an Bella Clark-directed 8-bit virtual, music video tour in which the band plays some of the cities she was meant to be passing through — Minneapolis, Chicago,Seattle, Toronto, and Austin. Instead of virtually playing at the more common tourist locations or a traditional music venue, the members of the band are mischievously placed in unusual locations: an abandoned Toronto area subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge and more.performing album track “crawling in my skin.”

Continuing some wildly creative ways to maintain the momentum of her full-length debut, Allison recently launched a singles series, Soccer Mommy & Friends that sees some of her most accomplished friends and associates covering her work — and Allison covering their work. The singles series will see contributions from MGMT‘s Andrew VanWyngarden, Beabadoobee, Beach Bunny, Jay Som and a list others — with releases dropping every two weeks. The singles series first release finds the acclaimed Oakland-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Melina Duterte, the creative mastermind behind the acclaimed indie rock act Jay Som covering Soccer Mommy’s “Lucy.”

Interestingly, Jay Som’s take on “lucy” turns the jangling guitar pop anthem into a shimmering and brooding track, centered around atmospheric synths, thumping beats and ethereal vocals that to my ears reminds me quite a bit of Air’s ethereal remix of Beck’s “Heaven Hammer.” “I had an extremely fun time recording the ‘lucy’ cover,” Duterte says in press notes. “Sophie has such a special way of entwining catchy melodies and sometimes dark chord progressions. I feel very lucky to be a part of this comp!”

All net profits from Bandcamp sales from the series will be donated to Oxfam‘s COVID-19 relief fun. Oxfam is working with partners to reach more than 14 million people in nearly 50 countries and the US to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 in vulnerable communities and support people’s basic food needs and livelihoods. As we’re all aware women and girls usually bear a disproportionate burden of care in a crises like COVID-19, and Oxfam has a proven record of helping women cope during and recover after these crises in ways that allow them to be safer and stronger than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Acclaimed Indie Artist Soccer Mommy Goes on a Virtual 8-Bit Tour

Sophie Allison is a Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, best known as the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded indie rock project Soccer Mommy.  Allison first picked up guitar when she was six — and as a teenager, she attended Nashville School of the Arts, where she studied guitar and played in the school’s swing band. By 2015, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist began posting home-recorded songs as Soccer Mommy to Bandcamp during the summer of 2015, just as she was about head off to New York University, where she studied music business at the University’sSteinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. 

While she was in college, Allison played her first Soccer Mommy show at Bushwick, Brooklyn’s Silent Barn. She caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed her to a record deal — and after spending two years at NYU, she returned to Nashville to pursue a full-time career in music. Upon her return to Nashville, the acclaimed Swiss-born artist wrote and released two Soccer Mommy albums — 2016’s For Young Hearts through Orchid Tapes and 2017’s Collection through Fat Possum Records. Her proper, full-length debut, 2018’s Clean was released to widespread critical acclaim, and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, Alison has wound up touring with Stephen Malkmus, Mitski, Kacey Musgraves, Jay Som, Slowdive, Frankie Cosmos, Liz Phair, Phoebe Bridgers, Paramore, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend, and Wilco.  

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was gearing up to be a massive year for the young and rising singer/songwriter and guitarist: she began the year by playing at one of Bernie Sanders’ presidential rallies and had joined a list of contemporary artists, who endorsed his presidential campaign. Allison’s highly-anticipated sophomore album color theory was released to critical applause — and building upon a rapidly growing profile, the Nashville-based artist had been gearing up for a massive year: she was about to embark one a headlining tour with a number of dates sold-out months in advance, along with that, she had lined up appearances across the global festival circuit that included a stop at Glastonbury. Additionally, she was supposed to make her late-night, nationally televised debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

With touring being on an indefinite half for the music industry, the Swiss-born, Nashville-based singer/songwriter and guitarist recognized that this was a unique opportunity to get creative and experiment with new ideas. Combining her love of video games and performing, Allison held a digital concert on the online gaming platform Club Penguin Rewritten with over 10,000 attendees, who all had to make their own penguin avatars to attend it. The concert was so popular, that her fans crashed the platform’s servers, forcing a rescheduling of the event. Allison has also performed a number of live streams events, including  NPR’s Tiny Desk At Home (which she kicked off) and Pitchfork’s IG Live Series. And she also recently released her own Zoom background images. 

Recently, Allison and company embarked on a an Bella Clark-directed 8-bit virtual, music video tour in which the band plays some of the cities she was meant to be passing through — Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, and Austin. Instead of virtually playing at the more common tourist locations or a traditional music venue, the members of the band are mischievously placed in unusual locations: an abandoned Toronto area subway station, a haunted Chicago hotel, a bat-filled Austin bridge and more. Interestingly, the video four features the virtual band playing the album’s latest single “crawling in my skin.” Centered around looping and shimmering guitars, a sinuous bass line, shuffling drumming and subtly shifting tempos, the track reveals a remarkably self-assured young songwriter, who has an unerring knack for pairing earnest songwriting with an infectious hook. (Oh, and you’ll see the band adhering to social distancing rules while virtually performing!)  

“It’s really hard having our tour be postponed because I was really excited to play all of the songs on color theory for everyone, ‘crawling in my skin’ in particular,” Allison says. “I hope this little 8-bit performance can hold everyone over until the tour can happen.”

 

Comprised of founding members Andy Peña (vocals) and Devin Garcia (bass), along with David Ramirez (keys) and Adrian Loera (drums), the McAllen, TX-based dream pop act Quiet Kids can trace their origins to the breakup of Peña’s and Garcia’s previous band Dignan. Once the dust settled, Peña and Garcia began writing new material together, before recruiting Ramirez and Loera to flesh out the band’s sound and to complete its lineup. The quartet quickly earned attention-grabbing opening slots for the likes of Angel Olsen, Mitski and Miniature Tigers.

Now, as you may recall, the McAllen-based dream pop act’s self-titled debut EP is slated for release later this week through Good Eye Records, and the EP’s material finds the act firmly establishing their sound, which is centered around dreamy synths, sinuous bass lines and tight drumming while the material’s lyrically touch upon everyday themes — with a particular focus on the places and relationships of one’s life.

Earlier this month, I wrote about the slow-burning, Quiet Storm R&B meets Caveman-like “My Moon,” a love song inspired by Peña’s wife. Interestingly, the EP’s latest track, “Tidal Wave” finds the McAllen dream pop act picking up the tempo a bit, for a dance floor friendly anthem that recalls Simple Minds, Thompson Twins and others, as the track is centered around shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line, a soaring hook, Peña’s plaintive vocals, and a soulful horn solo; however, as Peña explains in press notes, the song is ultimately about crippling insecurity and anxiety. “Throughout my life as an artist, I’ve always questioned what I put out there. Nothing I wrote ever felt ‘good enough,'” Peña says. “It’s only in the stability of my relationships that I realized I can write about whatever I feel. My art is me, and my family, and friends. ‘Tidal Wave’ came about when I was having a rough patch writing. I was overthinking everything and just worrying about the most minute things.”

 

 

 

Comprised of founding members Andy Peña (vocals) and Devin Garcia (bass), along with David Ramirez (keys) and Adrian Loera (drums), the McAllen, TX-based dream pop act Quiet Kids can trace their origins to the breakup of Peña’s and Garcia’s previous band Dignan. Once the dust settled, Peña and Garcia began writing new material together, before recruiting Ramirez and Loera to flesh out the band’s sound and to complete its lineup. Eventually, the band earned attention-grabbing opening slots for the likes of Angel Olsen, Mitski and Miniature Tigers.

Slated for a March 29, 2019 release through Good Eye Records, the McAllen-based dream pop act’s self-titled debut EP finds the band’s sound centered around dreamy synths, sinuous bass lines and tight drumming while the material’s lyrically touch upon everyday themes — in particular, the EP’s material focuses on the places and relationships of one’s life. As the band’s Andy Peña explains in press notes, “People, places and things pull you in every direction, and it’s easy to please any and everyone.  If we all just said what was on our minds we’d have much more of an understanding of who we are, and what we’re looking for… It’s only in the stability of my relationships that I realized I can write about whatever I feel. My art is me, and my family, and friends.”

Interestingly, the EP’s latest single is the slow-burning, Quiet Storm meets Caveman-like “My Moon,” a track built upon shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook paired with Peña’s achingly plaintive vocals, expressing gratitude with a sort of thoughtful, contemplative sigh — and while sounding indebted to classic 80s pop, the song as Peña explains “is a love song to my wife. No matter what our lives through at us, she’s always there, like the moon, leading me in a calm way. I started writing that song when we were in between homes, trying to figure out where we wanted to settle. I realized we were each other’s home, and we didn’t really have to worry about finding a place for ourselves.”

Live Concert Photography: Mitski at Villain 11/22/16

Live concert photography of Mitski performing at Market Hotel late last year.

While currently comprised of founder and primary member Jamie Stewart, Angela Seo and Shayna Dunkelman, indie rock trio Xiu Xiu have throughout the course of their history developed a reputation for restless experimentation and lately for a period of extraordinary diverse prolificacy — earlier this year, they released their critically applauded album Plays the Music of Twin Peaks, collaborated with renowned indie pop artist Mitski on a song that will appear on a forthcoming John Cameron Mitchell film, collaborated with Merzbow on an album, composed music for several art installations by renowned artist Danh Vo, wrote the score for an experimental reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute — and then they found time to write and record the material that comprises their forthcoming 11th full-length effort FORGET, which Polyvinyl Records will release on February 24, 2017.

Co-produced by John Congleton, who has worked with Blondie and Sigur Ros; Deerhoof‘s Greg Saunier and Xiu Xiu’s Angela Seo, the album features guest appearances by minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine, Los Angeles Banjee Ball commentator Enyce Smith, Swans‘ Kristof Hahn and renowned drag artist Vaginal Davis. And as the band’s Jamie Stewart explains of both of the album’s title and its overarching theme, “To forget uncontrollably embraces the duality of human frailty. It is a rebirth in blanked out renewal but it also drowns and mutilates our attempt to hold on to what is dear.” FORGET is both the palliative fade out of a traumatic past but also the trampling pain of a beautiful one’s decay.”

“Wondering,” FORGET’s first single is a propulsive  dance floor-friendly single in which the band pairs layers of scuzzy, angular guitar chords with undulating synths, stuttering and skittering beats, brief bursts of twinkling keys and Stewart’s plaintive crooning with a swooning and anthemic hook — and while the equally shimmering and murky single sonically nods at Stevie Nicks‘ “Stand Back” and others, the song possesses and underlying tension between the known and unknown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tour Dates

Mar. 16th – Los Angeles, CA – Union

Mar. 17th – Escondido, CA – A Ship in The Woods

Mar. 19th – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

Mar. 21st – Seattle, WA – Kremwork

Mar. 22nd – Portland, OR – Holocene

Mar 23rd – 26th – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival

Mar. 30th – Detroit, MI – El Club

Mar. 31st – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle

Apr. 1st – Jacksonville, FL – The Sleeping Giant Film Festival

Apr. 6th – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bazaar

Apr. 7th – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle

Apr. 8th – Harrisburg, PA – Cathedral Room at Der Maennerchor

Apr. 9th – Baltimore, MD – The Wind-Up Space

Apr. 11th – Jersey City, NJ – Monty Hall

Apr.12th – New Haven, CT – Bar

Apr. 13th – Providence, RI – Colombus Theatre

Apr. 14th – Portsmouth, NH – 3SArtspace

Apr. 15th – Boston, MA – Cambridge Elks Lodge / Hardcore Stadium