“I want the record to feel like a relic from the past that’s been damaged and degraded with age,” says Soccer Mommy of her second album ‘Color Theory’. It seems that there’s been a bit of a romantic obsession with vintage darkness that’s been occupying 22-year-old Sophie Allison of late. Goths, vampires, demons, creepy antiques and scaring kids are topics that crop up when she swings by the NME office to talk about what’s been inspiring her.
Watch our video interview with Soccer Mommy above
Have years of being on the road and cheered on by thousands every night changed the way that you look at the world and write songs?
“I don’t think so. I still write very alone and only thinking about myself. It sounds narcissistic, but I don’t want to make music for fans. I want to share it with them when it’s done, but the writing process is still very singular and isolating. I turn inward and don’t come out.”
Your songs are very intimate and vulnerable. Is it weird to share them on such a mass scale?
“I think it’s great, because I love playing those songs. I don’t think I would love them if I didn’t think that they weren’t personal. They wouldn’t affect me or anyone else. It wouldn’t mean anything. That said, sharing a lot of yourself with strangers is a little odd. People can be really supportive and nice, but they can also be really weird – plus now they know something really personal about you.”
“Sharing a lot of yourself with strangers is a little odd”
Do you feel like there are a lot of people combing your songs for clues about your life?
“I don’t think that they can get actual clues because they don’t know anything about my life or what’s happened to me to inspire the songs, but they do want to ask about it.”
Do you fans have a tribe name, like Beliebers?
“They don’t, because everything to do with my name sounds dumb. But if they would like to think of one, then I would call them that!”
Your recent single ‘Yellow Is The Colour Of Her Eyes’ is somewhat of an epic. Do you realise it’s just one minute longer than Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’?
“Are you serious? That’s pretty crazy. It’s about homesickness – particularly relating to the fact that my mum is ill at home. I felt like I was losing time there with her, even though she’s alive and fine. It’s about when you feel like something’s fleeting and it starts to get scary.”
How has your relationship to home changed over the years?
“I’ve loved Nashville for forever. One thing that made me love it more was moving to New York and realising how different other places are. That gave me a much stronger connection to ‘home’. Touring was exciting and fun and I knew I had home waiting when I got back. I live back in Nashville now.”
“Our generation is very stressed. There’s a lot of anxiety, uncertainty and fear about the future”
How would you describe the character of the new record?
“It’s not about growing up and finding romance. It’s not about relationships that have hurt you. For the most part, it’s about me and struggles that I’ve gone through since when I was a little kid – reflecting on them now and seeing how I’ve been changed by them and how new problems have arisen in my life over the years.”
Is facing issues like that head on the reason so many acts from Generation Z are killing it right now?
“I think that authenticity is really important. When you start writing with this idea to do something because people will like it rather than because it’s what you’re feeling, that’s when you lose it. Our generation is very stressed. There’s a lot of anxiety, uncertainty and fear about the future. That comes across in a lot of new music. I feel like it’s a common thing because of where we are as a generation and what we’ve grown up in.”
Speaking of fear, your song ‘Feed’ from the The Turning soundtrack is pretty evil…
“I was so excited to get to do that! I was just like, ‘Oh my God, horror movie song, this is my dream, I have to do this’. I also felt very paranoid in my life so this was the perfect time to write a demon song.”
“I’ve been obsessed with the idea of demons following me and attacking me”
Is this your goth phase?
“Yeah! Well, maybe more just demonic. I’ve been obsessed with the idea of demons following me and attacking me. That’s what the song is about – letting a demon feed off my body and soul… and kill me.”
Did you have any resolutions for this New Year or new decade?
“Not really. I’m trying to make my home decor a little bit better – more gothic! I’m getting some purple plum drapes for my bedroom windows, I’ve bought a lot of books on magic and I’ve been really into old decanters. I just want to feel like a Victorian vampire woman.”
Watch our full interview with Soccer Mommy at the top of the page, where she also tells us about her favourite London haunts (shout out Nando’s), favourite places in Nashville and drinking whiskey.
Soccer Mommy releases ‘Color Theory’ on February 28