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The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

Nashville native Soccer Mommy cheered us on at Ascend Amphitheater

Allison brought waters, orange slices and indie reverbs to sustain our dancing all night long.
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Sophie Hur
Press photo of Soccer Mommy. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Hur)

As a newer fan of singer-songwriter Sophie Allison, better known by her stage name Soccer Mommy, I arrived Tuesday night at Ascend Amphitheater with zero expectations. My only hope was that Allison would bring even more heat to the already sweltering Nashville summer night. I felt confident in this possibility as the venue quickly revealed itself as the perfect match for the artist’s curated indie-rock aesthetic. A stunning sunset set behind the stage and hundreds of fans gathered on Ascend’s sprawling green lawn in their favorite graphic t-shirts and cut-off shorts.

Soccer Mommy arrived on stage with the confidence of a seasoned professional. Her comfort with the large Nashville crowd can be attributed to her childhood spent studying music in Music City. Allison’s family moved to Nashville from Switzerland when she was just 2 years old. These formative years seem to have made a lasting impact on the breadth and depth of the artist’s songwriting and vocals. She did legends of Nashville-educated singers justice, as her pitch and inflection were without fault, flowing like honey between chord progressions.

Soccer Mommy for her 2022 release “Sometimes, Forever.” (Photo courtesy of Sophie Hur)

Allison’s band also did justice to her Nashville roots, her drummer Rollum Haas wowed me with the energy and passion he brought to what could have been slower, more reflective tracks. As someone whose music pet peeves include an energy drop between tracks, I have to make particular amends to the band’s use of reverbs and long-lasting beats between their hits that kept the crowd’s energy high throughout the performance. These connections between songs gave the performance a professional atmosphere, particularly impressive for an artist whose debut was only five years ago with her critically-acclaimed 2018 album “Clean.” 

Obvious crowd favorites from the setlist (I deduced as I was suddenly awash in a crowd chanting “I don’t wanna be your f***ing dog”) included “Your Dog” from the aforementioned 2018 album and “circle the drain” from the singer-songwriter’s 2020 release “color theory.” The fierce love the crowd had for these tracks seemed to stem from a deep connection with Allison’s talented songwriting. 

Lyrics like “I’m not a prop for you to use / When you’re lonely or confused” and “Thought that I was the exception / I could rewrite your addiction” from both tracks respectively left me a bit breathless in their introspection and honesty. 

Allison, who has commented on having faced various mental health-related issues and “familial trials” throughout her life, seems particularly attuned to the struggles of her fanbase — many of whom, based on Tuesday night’s crowd, are young women who may have grown up with similar experiences. Her song’s explorations of love in all its most insidious forms, growing up and femininity are complicated and thought-provoking, a needed escape from the ever-constant cheerfulness of much modern pop music. 

Alongside these two crowd favorites, Allison sang “Bones” and “Feel It All the Time” from her latest release “Sometimes, Forever,” an album that comes across as most indicative of the artist’s sound. This album echoes her past releases in style and tone but simultaneously establishes that Allison is now heavier on production and her musicality, rather than strictly relying on her storytelling lyrics. Allison and her band’s talent on the guitar and drums shine in a new, exciting way, their backtracks reminding me of currently iconic indie-rock bands like flipturn or Wallows but balanced perfectly with the vocals and lyrics of a beloved boygenuis deep track.

Press photo of Soccer Mommy. (Photo courtesy of Sophie Hur)

As the opener for Maggie Rogers, Soccer Mommy left me wanting more as she wrapped up the one last “Sometimes, Forever” track, “don’t ask me.” This song gave her a final chance to show off her buttery vocals as the band leaned into soaring bridges and a head-banging chorus. Although the city could accredit itself with laying the foundation for Allison’s musical talent, this Nashville show felt like just a stop along the way on Allison’s inevitable ascend towards the top. 

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About the Contributor
Sophie Edelman, Former Staff Writer
Sophie Edelman (‘24) is studying cognitive, child and educational studies in Peabody College. As the former Music Correspondent, she is passionate about expanding coverage of local musicians and performances. She loves fish tacos, thrifting and working at Vanderbilt’s Acorn School! She can be contacted at [email protected].
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