On her 2018 album Clean, Sophie Allison demonstrated an ability to conjure up a cathartic response to the shackles of adolescence. She was confused but confident, presenting stories of resistance to love and growing up with a refreshingly candid lens. Color Theory sees Allison enter a grittier trajectory, starting with its warped, crackling production. Enlisting the help of her live band, Allison recorded to tape and used samples from floppy discs, resulting in a decaying, nostalgic feeling that’s a far cry from the homely sheen of Clean.
Most of Color Theory’s songs were written during a particularly strenuous touring schedule and see Allison tackle narratives of uncertainty and trauma with a considerable lyrical dexterity. Opener bloodstream delivers lines with an anguished, existential cry; standout track circle the drain highlights the debilitating effects of depression, where Allison is “chained to her bed” and talks of “mould in her brain” while lead single yellow is the color of her eyes is a devastating account of watching a loved one’s health decline.
Allison has a knack for confronting heavy subjects with a self-aware smirk. Here, she ruminates on the small pockets of beauty against a darkened exterior, presenting both the rainbow and the grey sky. Soccer Mommy is one of Gen Z’s most gifted storytellers.