Soccer Mommy Announces New Album color theory, Shares New Single "circle the drain"

Music News Soccer Mommy
Share Tweet Submit Pin
Soccer Mommy Announces New Album <i>color theory</i>, Shares New Single "circle the drain"

On the heels of her 2018 standout debut Clean, Soccer Mommy—aka 22-year-old Sophie Allison—has finally unveiled her sophomore album, color theory, out Feb. 28 via Loma Vista Recordings. Allison’s late-2019 singles, “lucy” and “yellow is the color of her eyes,” put her new record on Paste’s radar in a big way, landing it on our most anticipated 2020 albums list even prior to its official announcement. Those songs are joined among color theory’s 10 tracks by new single “circle the drain,” out today alongside the details of Allison’s new album.

The video accompanying the new Soccer Mommy single, directed by Atiba Jefferson (American Football, Turnstile, TV On The Radio, Dinosaur Jr.), is reminiscent of Jonah Hill’s Mid90s, from its 4:3 aspect ratio and ‘90s VHS fuzziness to its California street-skate milieu. Allison’s friends, played by pro skateboarders Sean Malto, Jake Anderson, Curren Caples and Nicole Hause, sneak into a shuttered Palm Springs waterpark to shred the dried-up slides, literally circling a drain or two; meanwhile, Allison, with suitcase (and occasionally her guitar) in hand, makes her way into town, eventually meeting up with her friends and stepping onto a skateboard herself. The visual is a sunny, carefree counterpoint to “circling the drain” itself, whose chipper jangle-pop sound belies the struggles of its singer: Allison sings about “a feeling that boils in my brain,” admitting that she’s tired of putting on a brave face to mask the slow but steady internal collapse that she feels powerless to prevent. Depression is using her own inertia against her—like gravity pulling a skater down a waterslide, only there’s no happy landing at the bottom. That’s what’s beautiful about the video: Allison is able to put her heavy baggage down and have some fun, without fear of the fall.

Allison’s confrontation of her mental health and familial issues is at the heart of color theory, which is organized around three key themes: “Blue, representing sadness and depression; yellow, symbolizing physical and emotional illness; and, finally, gray, representing darkness, emptiness and loss”—“circle the drain” looks to belong in the blue bucket, and “lucy” in the gray, while “yellow is the color of her eyes” has a more obvious affiliation. The disconnect between the new single’s bright-eyed sound and bleak lyrics is key to the album’s overall aesthetic, as Allison explains: “I wanted the experience of listening to color theory to feel like finding a dusty old cassette tape that has become messed up over time, because that’s what this album is: an expression of all the things that have slowly degraded me personally. The production warps, the guitar solos occasionally glitch, the melodies can be poppy and deceptively cheerful. To me, it sounds like the music of my childhood distressed and, in some instances, decaying.”

Allison wrote most of color theory while touring, recording the album in her Nashville hometown with production from her Clean collaborator Gabe Wax. For the first time, Allison’s live Soccer Mommy band joins her on each recording, with their live takes laying the foundation for most of the album’s 10 tracks.

In addition to her recently announced 2020 tour, Allison has revealed Soccer Mommy will return to SXSW in March, also adding a hometown show at Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom on May 9. You can get tickets to catch Allison and her band on tour right here.

Watch the “circle the drain” video and Allison’s 2018 Paste Studio session below, and find the details of color theory and Soccer Mommy’s tour dates (new shows in bold) further down.

color theory Tracklist:
01. bloodstream
02. circle the drain
03. royal screw up
04. night swimming
05. crawling in my skin
06. yellow is the color of her eyes
07. up the walls
08. lucy
09. stain
10. gray light

color theory Album Art:


Soccer Mommy Tour Dates:

16-22 – Austin, Texas @ SXSW

26 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Variety Playhouse*
27 – Carrboro, N.C. @ Cat’s Cradle*
28 – Washington, D.C. @ 930 Club*
31 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer*

03 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel*
04 – Boston, Mass. @ Paradise*
07 – Montreal, Que. @ L’Astral*
08 – Toronto, Ont. @ Phoenix*
09 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Grog Shop*
11 – Chicago, Ill. @ Thalia Hall*
17 – St. Louis, Mo. @ Delmar Hall^
18 – Madison, Wis. @ Majestic^
19 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ First Ave^
22 – Denver, Colo. @ Gothic^
24 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Commonwealth Room^
25 – Boise, Idaho @ Deathproof Coffee^
26 – Portland, Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom^
27 – Seattle, Wash. @ Neumos^
29 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Fillmore^
30 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Fonda^

01 – San Diego, Calif. @ The Stage Room at UCSD^
02 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Crescent Ballroom^
03 – Santa Fe, N.M. @ Meow Wolf^
05 – Austin, Texas @ Emo’s^
06 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall^
07 – Dallas, Texas @ Granada^
09 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Cannery Ballroom

04 – Oslo, Norway @ Parkteatret
05 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Slaktkyrkan
06 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Hotel Cecil
08 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
09 – Berlin, Germany @ Frannz Club
11 – Koln, Germany @ Bumann & Sohn
13 – Brussels, Belgium @ La Botanique
15 – Paris, France @ Petit Bain
16 – Brighton, U.K. @ Concorde 2
18 – London, U.K. @ Electric Ballroom
19 – Bristol, U.K. @ Trinity
20 – Birmingham, U.K. @ The Castle & Falcon
22 – Leeds, U.K. @ Belgrave Music Hall
23 – Glasgow, U.K. @ Stereo
24 – Manchester, U.K. @ Gorilla

(* w/ Tomberlin)
(^ w/ Emily Reo)