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Soccer Mommy Announces New Album & Shares Single “circle the drain”

Jan 15, 2020

By Bella Carles

Today Soccer Mommy—twenty-two-year-old Sophie Allison—announces her triumphant sophomore album, color theory. Confronting the ongoing mental health and familial trials that have plagued Allison since pre-pubescence, color theory explores three central themes: blue, representing sadness and depression; yellow, symbolizing physical and emotional illness; and, finally, gray, representing darkness, emptiness, and loss. Written mostly while on tour and recorded in Allison’s hometown of Nashville at Alex The Great, color theory was produced by Gabe Wax (who also produced Clean), mixed by LarsStalfors (Mars Volta, HEALTH, St. Vincent), and features the live Soccer Mommy band on studio recording for the first time, with a live take at the foundation of almost every track. The resulting album is a masterpiece that paints an uncompromisingly honest self-portrait of an artist who, according to 100+ publications, already released one of the Best Albums of 2018 and the 2010s, and is about to release an early favorite of 2020.

color theory will be released on February 28th via Loma Vista Recordings, and the album’s massive lead single “circle the drain” is out today. Listen to the song on all digital platforms HERE, and watch its Atiba Jefferson-directed (American Football, Turnstile, TV On The Radio, Dinosaur Jr.) music video, that was shot at an abandoned water park in Palm Springs and features pro-skateboarders Sean Malto, Jake Anderson, Curren Caples, and Nicole Hause, above. Pre-order color theory on tri-color vinyl with exclusive poster + sticker sheet, CD, cassette, and digital download HERE.

For Sophie Allison, color theory is a distillation of hard-won catharsis. “I wanted the experience of listening to color theory to feel like finding a dusty old cassette tape that has become messed up over time because that’s what this album is: an expression of all the things that have slowly degraded me personally,” Allison says. “The production warps, the guitar solos occasionally glitch, the melodies can be poppy and deceptively cheerful. To me, it sounds like the music of my childhood distressed and, in some instances, decaying.”

The melodies on color theory shimmer on the surface, but they reveal an unsettling darkness with each progressive listen. The album is thematically subdivided into three sections, each of which is named for a color that distills the mood Allison wanted to freeze in time. We begin with blue, a color that evokes a certain melancholy, and for Allison, illuminates depressive episodes and memories of inflicting self-harm. The next section is represented by yellow, a color that points to illness, both mental and physical. “My mom has been terminally ill since I was a pre-teen, and I never really found a way to deal with it,” Allison says. The final section, represented by gray, addresses that fear of loss directly. “Watching my parents age and 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,” Allison says. But it’s not all tragic; moments of lightness appear on this album, too. Wise beyond her years, Allison is a songwriter capable of capturing the fleeting moments of bliss that make an embattled existence temporarily beautiful. With color theory, Allison’s fraught past becomes a lens through which we might begin to understand what it means to be resilient.

color theory investigates a traumatic past in exacting detail; in doing so, Allison finds inroads for healing through self-acceptance, and occasionally, humor. This isn’t a quest to uncover some long-since forgotten happiness so much as it is an effort to stare-down the turmoil of adolescence that can haunt a person well into adulthood. Allison is a gifted storyteller, one who is able to take personal experience and project it to universal scale. On color theory, she beckons in outsiders, rejects, and anyone who has ever felt desperately alone in this world, lending them a place to unburden themselves and be momentarily free.

See below to find a show near you, and get your tickets HERE.

Tour dates
(new additions in bold)
03/16 – 03/22 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
03/26 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse*
03/27 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle*
03/28 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club*
03/31 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer*
04/03 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel*
04/04 – Boston, MA @ Paradise*
04/07 – Montreal, QC @ L’Astral*
04/08 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix*
04/09 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop*
04/11 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall*
04/17 – St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall^
04/18 – Madison, WI @ Majestic^
04/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave^
04/22 – Denver, CO @ Gothic^
04/24 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Commonwealth Room^
04/25 – Boise, ID @ Deathproof Coffee^
04/26 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom^
04/27 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos^
04/29 – San Francisco, CA @ Fillmore^
04/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda^
05/01 – San Diego, CA @ The Stage Room at UCSD^
05/02 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom^
05/03 – Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf^
05/05 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s^
05/06 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall^
05/07 – Dallas, TX @ Granada^
05/09 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom
06/04 – Oslo, Norway @ Parkteatret
06/05 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Slaktkyrkan
06/06 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Hotel Cecil
06/08 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
06/09 – Berlin, Germany @ Frannz Club
06/11 – Koln, Germany @ Bumann & Sohn
06/13 – Brussels, Belgium @ La Botanique
06/15 – Paris, France @ Petit Bain
06/16 – Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
06/18 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
06/19 – Bristol, UK @ Trinity
06/20 – Birmingham, UK @ The Castle & Falcon
06/22 – Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall
06/23 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
06/24 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
*w/ Tomberlin
^w/ Emily Reo

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