Browse By

Album Review // SOCCER MOMMY ‘color theory’

Soccer Mommy’s new album, color theory is the refinement of her emotional catharsis where mental awareness and family trauma coincide in a world filled with suffering and stained tenderness.



The new project is following her highly-admired 2018 album, Clean, where Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, sheds herself into a mature woman – leaving behind her high school crushes and cool girl daydreams. With her previous growth, she embarks on a new journey: the journey of self-acceptance through the pain of her childhood trauma and skewed storytelling. Soccer Mommy uses her acquired skills to morph her personal experience into a universal emotion that will lead any listener towards their own self-portrait. I found this during my first listen and continue to feel it linger long after I pressed pause. Allison’s transparency left me crying in the middle of a coffee shop reflecting on hardships I blindly thought I overcame. It left me wide awake in my bed where I found myself wanting to call my mother even though I knew she was asleep. And it found me while I tried to decipher why I was mourning for a past that was not my own yet felt terribly similar.

color theory is flawlessly divided into three main sections that are represented by three different colors. It starts with melancholy blue where depressive mental states and self-criticism cohesively complement one another. The exposed opening track, bloodstream, accurately depicts these two traits without hesitation. With the lovely memories of wild streams, hydrangeas blooming off park trees, and youthful, rosy cheeks Allison brings herself back to the first time she felt sadness at the simple age of 13. With a poetic manner and supportive instrumentation, she reminisces about her growth with her fragility as she solemnly sings: “And why am I so fucked? / There’s someone talking up in my forehead / It says I’ll never be enough.”

The opening track follows with circle the drain, a progressive track that sings about Allison’s coldness with the juxtaposition of a warm sonic palette. She repeats the dizzying lines: “Things feel that low sometimes / Even when everything is fine” – abrasive thoughts that we all think more often than not. With warped guitar spillage and soft vocals, the track ends in an overwhelming amount of emotions, which makes the next track perfectly fitting. It follows with royal screw up as a dark, comical track that embraces the habitual insecurities of a young female and night swimming, a self-imposed exile towards others and herself as she repeats the words: “a sinking stone.” This reminds us of how heaviness is the hallmark of everyone’s suffering.

It follows with the color yellow, a firm representation of Allison’s relationship with her mother’s terminal illness and a fight with her own mental illness. This portion is the most acclaimed work of her songwriting career. It is introduced with the seven-minute recording of yellow is the color of her eyes, where dreamy, carved out guitar chords and faint vocals wed. The track represents the guilt Allison faced while on her international tour during the time of her mother’s heightened illness. “I’m thinking of her from over the ocean / See her face in the waves, her body is floating”, Allison reflects miles away from a home she once knew. A cry for a loved one slowly manifests into a cry for help within herself. crawling in my skin leaves us drowning in her voice: “Sedate me all the time / Don’t leave me with my mind”, and up the walls, a self-sabotage serenade, where she questions her lover’s choices, “Tell me that you’ll leave me / When everything is wrong.”

Lastly, the final section is about the fear of loss shown by the color grey. “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,” says Allison. lucy introduces itself with the flirtation and questioning of an appealing afterlife. Followed by a disorientated ballad of emotional anguish – stain, “With your words like chloroform / And I hate the taste / That it put into my mouth / Now I’m always stained.” Oppositely, the lofi-pop-inspired gray light strips down Allison’s haunting vocals and profoundly paints her finished self-portrait. The type of cruel masterpiece we have been watching Soccer Mommy create since 2016. With the last words of the album whispering, “I can’t lose it / The feeling I’m going down / I can’t lose it / I’m watching my mother drown,” before it abruptly cuts.

color theory is a continuous loop about meeting your darkness while simultaneously greeting it with light. It reminds us that the existence of a traumatic past can also result in a necessary self-growth. Through pain and discomfort comes regain in something a little deeper. Allison has taught us how to let go of a suppression we have kept hidden in ourselves since adolescence and encounter our demons with an open heart, something we are able to do if we truly believe in ourselves.