Soccer Mommy, “Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series”

Soccer Mommy
Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series
LOMA VISTA/CONCORD
7/10

Soccer Mommy’s color theory is, by many accounts, one of the best albums of 2020 (so far). Sophie Allison bottled that perfect musical Twilight Zone between ’90s nostalgia and the current female-led indie rock songwriting moment we’ve been blessed with over the past five years. That end-of-winter release was a kaleidoscope of emotions, colors, and styles that couldn’t be pinned to a specific decade.

Allison’s recently launched Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series is a four-volume rarities collection of demos, covers, remixes, and other curios from friends in the industry. The collaborating artists (Jay Som, Beabadoobee, MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden, and SASAMI) for the eight-track EP are fairly wide-ranging in styles, but many fall back into the tropes of bedroom-pop auteurs like Soccer Mommy.

Jay Som starts the series off well with a Vangelis vibe for a cover of Soccer Mommy’s “lucy.” Soccer Mommy flips back the favor with the twinkling slow-burn track “I Think You’re Alright,” originally heard on Melina Duterte’s 2016 split single.

The tracks with the MGMT frontman on Vol. 3 are some of the project’s best, and see VanWyngarden adding MGMT’s typically druggy haze to the color theory single “circle the drain” as his alter ego Gentle Dom. In turn, Soccer Mommy strips back the effects on one of her favorites, MGMT’s “Indie Rokkers,” turning it into a bedroom-pop anthem instead of a drugged out psychedelic stadium-rocker. There’s also a synergy between the two demo songs from Soccer Mommy and Beabadoobee. The two artists met in London and saw an immediate kinship in their songwriting styles. It shows on Vol. 2 as both demos resembled hushed, moonlit reveries with voice and guitar dissipating into the dark silence around them.

Probably the best song in this inaugural series is Allison’s forlorn cover of The Cars’ “Drive, which closes out the EP. It’s delivered as a slow cruise heartbreaker, and Soccer Mommy makes it her own song with only an electric guitar and her voice. SASAMI does a similar magic trick to a lesser extent on a narcotized version of System of a Down’s “Toxicity.

Money raised from the four-volume series (digital and vinyl) is also going to Oxfam America’s coronavirus relief fund and National Bail Out. An anonymous donor recently agreed to match every dollar raised by Soccer Mommy’s series up to $5,000, which will double the impact of your purchase on Bandcamp. Let’s hope there are more volumes in the near future.

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