After reworking some of her Bandcamp-released bedroom recordings and compiling them as Collection last year, Soccer Mommy (aka Sophie Allison) has wasted no time by releasing Clean, her first proper full-length of brand new songs.
Album opener "Still Clean" picks up where Collection's themes of abandonment and longing left off. Even-tempered, sweet guitar strums make way for one of Allison's most beautiful vocal melodies and stirring imagery. Soccer Mommy's newfound bitterness is cleverly cloaked in pleasant, bright indie pop arrangements and is most apparent on the powerful lead single, "Your Dog," where a line like, "I don't want to be your fucking dog that you drag around," would normally sound brash or impulsive, but Allison's soft-spoken delivery takes charge and makes the song defiantly anthemic, in a tender way.
Clean alternates between cheeky, up-tempo arrangements like "Cool" and "Last Girl," and more shy, melancholy tracks like "Flaw" and "Wildflowers," that blossom into fluttering, luscious finales. Even with a full band behind Allison, Soccer Mommy's arrangements remain tasteful, allowing Allison's daydream-like prose to shine through.
Clean explores feelings of infatuation, insecurity, and acceptance as Allison wearily enters adulthood. While it isn't a huge departure from Soccer Mommy's early work, Allison is promptly hitting her stride and clearly gaining confidence and showing it with strands of snarkiness and angst mixed within her delicate, vulnerable songs. (Fat Possum)