Photography Sophie Hur

A playlist of music that inspired Soccer Mommy's evil goth-pop record

Listen to the 90s rock, doom metal and shoegaze that led the Nashville artist to make ‘Sometimes, Forever’.

by Jenna Mahale
23 June 2022, 12:51pm

Photography Sophie Hur

The new Soccer Mommy album is all about contradictions. The record’s title Sometimes, Forever is incongruous in and of itself, like finding hope and light in the darkness of a situation; tapping into a surrounding sense of doom, but, like, making it fun. It’s something Sophie Allison has found she excels at: for instance, her previous album color theory traced depression, madness and death, while simultaneously sounding like a sunbeam. 

In the musician’s own words, she is often “seduced by darkness”: “I just think it's really exciting and fun. Demons and goblins and monsters. I love all that shit,” she says over Zoom call. Sophie’s sensibilities have always leaned towards the demonic, and her interests have given her a voracious cultural appetite. “For me, it's fantasy. I read a lot of sci-fi and horror, I just read a Neil Stevenson book called Diamond Age. And I watched a lot of fantasy TV shows for sure: The Vampire Diaries and Buffy. They’re a nice escape from reality, which can sometimes just be upsetting and unexciting.” Evidently there’s the good, fun apocalypse you can fantasise about, and then there’s bad apocalypse.

To herald in a new, darker Soccer Mommy era, Sophie has put together a playlist in the spirit of the former: from The Cure to Portishead to The Smashing Pumpkins, the vibe is extremely 90s — songs to get down to, get lost in, and get your mood up again. Have a listen and a read as we chat with the artist about her favourite picks, falling asleep to the dulcet tones of Black Sabbath, and more.

Where are you and how are you today, Sophie?
I’m good, I’m back home in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s very sunny and hot here and I’ve got a big iced coffee of my own making, so I can’t complain.

So tell me a little bit about this playlist you made for us.
I tried to pick a bunch of the songs that me and [producer Daniel Lopatin] talked about a lot when it came to recording Sometimes, Forever. We’d be texting each other, trying to come up with production references before we got into the studio. So it’s an album inspiration playlist.

Do you have any favourites in the playlist?
That's hard. But "Perfect" by The Smashing Pumpkins is a favourite of mine. That one's really great. It's just like one of those classic 90s rock songs that has a specific kind of drum beat that's super shuffle-y. It just makes it feel like you could really vibe to it. I love that song. My boyfriend Julian was the first to actually get into them.

Are any of the tracks you picked surprising choices for you?
I don’t know if this would necessarily surprise people, but there’s a Black Sabbath song on there. I remember when we were making "Darkness Forever" (the new album’s sixth track) – not that I wanted it to sound like a specific Black Sabbath song – I really wanted it to capture a feeling of being really heavy and doomy, but also kind of stripped-back. I'm not a metalhead or anything. I like some stuff here and there. But there was a point where I was listening Black Sabbath to sleep a lot while I was on tour in the van, which I know is a little bit psychotic-sounding, but sometimes that kind of really loud music is very soothing.

What would you say the general mood of Sometimes, Forever is? 
I feel like it's like a mixture. Poppy goth. Upbeat rock and shoegaze. That should do it.

What else can we expect from this new Soccer Mommy era?
You're gonna get some of the old, and you're gonna get some stuff that's very different. But I think that the different stuff is a direction that I’ve been going in for a while now, so it shouldn't be too shocking, but it’s definitely darker. Not just lyrically, but literally more evil-sounding. A little bit more demonic and heavy. As much as I like writing more straightforward indie rock songs, sometimes I want to do something heavy, something that just feels awesome. 

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