For those looking for an escape from the candied hearts and saccharine sentiments that come with Valentine’s Day, Soccer Mommy offered a grungy and wonderfully depressive alternative at Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom. A project of singer, songwriter, musician, and Nashville denizen Sophie Allison, Soccer Mommy combines angsty, garage-inspired vibes with a healthy dose of introspective lyrics.
Soccer Mommy has a classic, true alternative rock feel. The genre has always been driven by gritty, sometimes crying, sometimes humming, guitar work, and vocals filled with torment and reflective ennui. “I want to be like your last girl/She’s the sun in your cold world/and I am just a dying flower,” Allison brooded on one of her new works, “Last Girl.” Offset by a brighter-than-it-should-be guitar riff, the song’s self-deprecating struggle packed an even deeper emotional punch. In a trance, the crowd nodded and swayed along listlessly–the clear signs of enjoyment from alternative rock fans.
There is also a vulnerable strength in Allison’s lyrics and presence that feels distinctly modern. Many of the works she shared from her upcoming album Clean were indicative of growth both as an artist and in expression. Fans shouted support as Allison went into her most recent single, “Your Dog,” a song that can be viewed as a tongue-in-cheek murder ballad, a bittersweet romance-ender, or a battle cry for many of the social issues at the forefront of today’s world.
While the crowd radiated in the hum and thump of Soccer Mommy’s full band, you could sense a true link between artist and audience when Allison gave the band a break for a couple of songs near the end of the set. Featuring a slowed and more exposed cover of The Boss’s “I’m On Fire,” there was something in the inflection of Allison’s voice that made you feel she had a personal connection with the song. You couldn’t help but wonder if Springsteen has influenced Soccer Mommy’s angsty outlook on life. The crowd stood frozen, listening to each word, and finally letting just the briefest moment of silence hang in the air before roaring with applause.
Much of alternative rock has either morphed into traditional rock sounds or veered toward the edges of indie rock. Blending brooding, yet reflective lyrics with head nodding music, Soccer Mommy made us feel a bit sadder on Valentine’s Day…and we were grateful.
[This review and its accompanying photos were crafted by Eo8’s own dynamic duo, George and Sammi Maifair.]