Up-and-coming loft sadcore act Soccer Mommy, fronted by Sophie Allison, played an intimate gig at Denver’s Globe Hall on Tuesday. This was the band’s first headline show in Denver.
Opening with “Henry,” Allison set a melancholic tone for the rest of the evening. With slight flange and delay effects applied to the clean signal of her guitars, she was able to create whirlpool swells that accompanied her vocals nicely. Her lyrics brought listeners back to their formative years of being left on the sidelines or being misled. The level of vulnerability conveyed in her tracks brought the crowd closer together. Attendees swayed rhythmically as she sang, fixated on Allison and what she had to say.
The set continued with Allison announcing that she would be playing “Your Dog” — one of the groups most popular tracks. The track is unconventional in the sense that it slightly juxtaposes her quiet solo songs. It features an in-your-face, dynamic bass line as well as heavily distorted feedback drones of lead guitar sprinkled throughout.
Allison then ushered her band off the stage and brought the crowd closer together with a chilling cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” slowing the song down and applying wet reverb to her guitar and microphone. She then cycled into her track “Still Clean,” a song off of her most recent album. The track follows the same sonic pattern as her cover of “I’m on Fire,” but with slight modulation, creating tails of hall reverb.
Allison made light of the cliche that encores have become by sarcastically saying to the crowd, “you guys know what to do.” Returning to the stage, she played her “Waiting for Cars” solo. The song encapsulates the Soccer Mommy sound and is a return to bedroom pop form — just Allison and her guitar, as if she were sitting on her bed with a four-track recorder, pouring her teenage heart into the microphone. It is intimate.
Allison’s life has been a wild ride since her fairly recent high school graduation. Initially enrolling in NYU as a music-business major, her work gained popularity incredibly fast. After a year of school, she was faced with either continuing on the same track at NYU or pursuing a career as a touring singer-songwriter. Ultimately, she found herself in class emailing her agent instead of focusing on her studies. She chose the latter and signed with the Mississippi-based label Fat Possum, joining the roster with bands like The Black Keys, Wavves and Sunflower Bean.
Allison started her music career as a side project, posting her bedroom recordings to Bandcamp. In 2017, Allison released her songs in a compilation titled Collection. Since then, she has put out a new full-length album, Clean, which skyrocketed her to success, earning her the “Best New Music” accolade from Pitchfork. Allison now tours with a full band backing her up.
Soccer Mommy will continue to tour until February with dates across America. She is an artist to watch as the sadcore indie rock genre continues to steep in the vulnerable and authentic sounds of bottled up teenage angst in the form of heavy-hearted tunes.
Contact CU Independent Arts Writer Zach Cohen at Zach.Cohen@colorado.edu.