Secret Meeting score: 71
by Mark Jackson and Phil Scarisbrick
Online platforms such as Bandcamp have invigorated a new wave of artists, allowing them to give the world access to their developing artistry. One such example is the Nashville native, Sophie Allison – the commanding presence at the forefront of Soccer Mommy. While the finished product of her new LP, Clean, is more polished than that of the output released before, it is no less emotionally engaging.
In recent years, there has been a long overdue rise in young, and marvellously talented female singer songwriters. Recent releases from Angel Olsen, Snail Mail, Stella Donnelly, Lucy Dacus, Hatchie, Julie Jacklin, Anna Burch and Julien Baker, to name but a few, well demonstrating the point. In a brief, and at times, chaotic 35 minutes, Allison delivers a collection of songs across Clean that adds to this female resurgence.
Clean is an album of youthful and unpolished songs that mirrors the age of its curator. “I don’t wanna be your fucking dog that you drag around, a collar on my neck tied to a pole, leave me in the freezing cold,” Allison cries out on the opening lyric of standout track, Your Dog. The song encompasses the drama and attitude that many of the most experienced within the alt-scene still fail to muster, and sets the tone for a breathy and powerful half hour of music.
Imagine buying a battered second hand electric guitar and amp, and being allowed to play it as often, and as loud as you’d like in your parents’ garage. Then invite your mates around to jam your creations and you won’t fall far short of the rawness and authority of Clean.
There is stiff competition to capture attention within the field of female singer song-writing right now, but with the passion and drive delivered through Clean, one would expect Soccer Mommy to increase in both significance and influence in the coming years.