At 20 years old, Sophie Allison has already made a name for herself in the underground music circuit as Soccer Mommy. The Nashville native recorded soft bedroom pop songs in her bedroom and uploaded them to Bandcamp, a familiar story if any this decade, and soon found an audience of dedicated fans. She rounded up her best work for last year’s LP, Collection. Now, she’s preparing to release her proper debut album as a solo artist, Clean, on March 2.
Soccer Mommy finds her voice as a solo artist on Clean. Songs like “Your Dog” and “Cool” ditch the nonchalant vibe teenagers use to bait their crushes and replace it with assured confidence, even if just for a moment, to remind her that she’s worth championing. The album sees her build off the DIY Bandcamp recordings that gained her attention by dragging that intimate, warm, simple pop instrumentation into the studio for proper production. With that comes a cohesion that gives Allison a dreamy record that catalogs why turning 20 is such a formative time in one’s life.
“I found out that I can’t try to be something—for other people or even for myself,” says Allison. “Like over the last few years, I wanted to be cool, look skinnier, and change who I was. I couldn’t really appreciate myself for who I am, so I was idealizing this other beauty standard. There can’t be mirrored expectations, and I can’t look up to ideas of what I want myself to become. At the end of the day, you end up being yourself and you can’t stop yourself from doing so even if you try.”
We interviewed Allison for a round of Wheel of Tunes, a series where we ask bands questions inspired by their song titles. True to her newest album, the answers dig into details about the everyday comforts of life and all the emotions we carry along for the journey—a perfect introduction to her music before Soccer Mommy plays Great Scott this Saturday.
1) “Still Clean”
DIGBOSTON: What’s the best dry shampoo to fake being clean days after showering?
ALLISON: There’s one from Lush that I like. It’s the only one I’ve ever used because I actually love to shower, so I do so almost every day. There was definitely a period in school, though, where I would have an 8 am and didn’t want to shower for class. It’s a lemon-lime scented powder that comes in a shampoo-looking bottle.
DIGBOSTON: Which trend isn’t cool anymore, and which trend do you want to last forever?
ALLISON: I feel like skinny jeans are kind of dead. Well, I’m kind of wearing them right now, but they’re not the most trendy thing anymore. Even the ones I’m wearing now are cut at the bottom so that they’re loose in a way. Full-on skinny jeans, like jeggings, died back when I was still wearing them, like over the last couple of years. If anything, people just wear leggings now. There’s no shame anymore.
Trends I want to last forever are baggy jeans. I’m super into that. I just got my first pair and I already want more. Like the Avril Lavigne pants, you know? The ones I got are close, but they could be better. They’re like hip baggy. They’re not full-on JNCO jeans.
3) “Your Dog”
DIGBOSTON: If you were reborn as a dog, which breed would you be?
ALLISON: That’s hard. It would need to be something kind of ditzy. Maybe a little chihuahua—something small, snappy, wild, but slightly dumb. I’m definitely very much a Gemini and kind of stupid in that way.
DIGBOSTON: What’s a flaw of yours that you’re aware of but haven’t taken many steps to fix?
ALLISON: Besides being kind of ditzy, I think maybe I’m self-destructive. I’m super messy and I don’t do anything about it, but I also get very stressed out by messes, so it’s a self-destructive thing. Then I’ll randomly freak out about cleaning everything. I’ll get rid of all of the clutter, basically destroy my room, and eventually it becomes messy again. I can live in the chaos I’ve created even though I hate it most times.
5) “Blossom (Wasting All My Time)”
DIGBOSTON: In what way do you feel like you’ve been wasting your time in the past year?
ALLISON: I feel like I don’t waste much time lately. Probably watching TV shows, like The Bachelor, is a waste. I’ve been watching it for a year and a half, which is about four seasons in the show. I loved Corinne on the last season and Becca a lot from this season. I also love to hate Krystal. I’m trying to figure out what her chart is. She’s either gotta be a Leo or a Gemini with a Leo rising because she’s got some fire in there.
6) “Last Girl”
DIGBOSTON: Who was the last girl you talked to over the phone?
ALLISON: Interesting. Probably my sister or my mom. My sister, who’s older than me, called to ask if I wanted a shirt from Goodwill that was a shirt I keep stealing from her. She found the exact same one: sleeveless with the Fireball logo.
DIGBOSTON: Do you swear by any skincare regimens or products?
ALLISON: I have been buying a lot of Fenty Beauty products. It’s the only foundation that’s my skin color because I’m so pale. It’s basically a zero [product number]. Besides that, I use Cetaphil face wash, the unscented stuff, and a Burt’s Bees spot treatment stick with peppermint and tea tree oil.
8) “Scorpio Rising”
DIGBOSTON: What does your horoscope say about you?
ALLISON: I read one for this week on Twitter that said I’m in a creative time period and may feel like I don’t have control, as if others are controlling the story, but soon I’ll have my chance to control what people are saying. I was on board with how specific it was. Because the album’s coming out soon and I’ve had interviews lined up, it felt true.
DIGBOSTON: Generally speaking, when do you take a work break and what do you do during it?
ALLISON: I’m constantly thinking about work, so I don’t really do breaks. When I do, though, I’ll get home and watch a movie, go to a park, or hang out with friends. On the road, there’s not really time for that.
DIGBOSTON: What’s your favorite Tom Petty song?
ALLISON: Well, one of my favorites is “Wildflowers,” and the other is “American Girl.” I’ve always loved the latter because it’s so catchy and has that teenage nostalgia going for it. “Wildflowers” is just super pretty. It’s been my favorite of the softer ones for a while.
PHOEBE BRIDGERS, SOCCER MOMMY. SAT 2.24. GREAT SCOTT, 1222 COMM. AVE., ALLSTON. 6:30PM/18+/$20. GREATSCOTTBOSTON.COM