Soccer Mommy Sometimes, Forever Loma Vista
The earliest Soccer Mommy projects leaned into the kitschy clichés of youth. Crushes, high school parties and Coca-Cola have all been focal points in the universe created by Nashville musician Sophie Allinson. Then, in 2020, things took a thematic turn. Allinson’s sophomore album, color theory, dealt with the darkness in her life, specifically grief and family illness, albeit matched with a brighter sound hearkening back to the early aughts. Thematically, Sometimes, Forever continues where color theory left off. This time though, the grim atmospheres are brought to life with the help of experimental electronic producer Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never.
Where color theory dipped its toes into sombre and sacrilegious imagery, Sometimes, Forever dives in headfirst. Motifs of blood, bones, fire and demons sneak into nearly every track. Following Eyes is a thrilling ghost story with an infectious chorus. On the chilling, circus-like instrumentation of Darkness Forever, for perhaps the first time in her discography, Allison outright shrieks. While tracks like Bones and Don’t Ask Me highlight Allison’s talent for hiding morose lyricism behind peppy 90s rock anthems, the album’s most exciting moments occur when the album diverts into murkier territory. Unholy Affliction is the best example of this – and perhaps of Allison and Lopatin’s creative partnership – with its crackling production, brooding bassline and skittering free-jazz drum patterns that are almost as unsettling as the lyrics: “I don’t want the money/ That fake kind of happy/ I’d sink in the river/ Before I let it have me.”
Ultimately, Sometimes, Forever is a portrait of an artist careworn beyond her years “I’m just 22 going on 23/ Already worn down from everything,” she sings on Feel It All the Time. Similarly, album closer Still finds her wrestling with her emotions over downcast acoustic strumming: “I don’t know how to feel things small/ It’s a tidal wave or nothing at all.” Despite offering no resolve, it’s an oddly comforting conclusion to an album that holds no feelings back.