Nashville’s Soccer Mommy has had quite the rise over the last half-decade. Born Sophia Allison in Switzerland, the 23-year-old has spent the last five years scaling the indie rock precipice – signing to tastemaker label Fat Possum, touring with the likes of Kacey Musgraves, Vampire Weekend and Mistki and dropping out of New York University to pursue music full-time. Since 2016, Allison has released two studio albums, a compilation and numerous singles and demos that are all equally coveted by her ever-growing fanbase.
Soccer Mommy’s popularity is largely attributed to her honest, moving music that mixes 90s alternative rock with hints of dream pop and more mainstream early-00s pop-rock, citing the likes of Slowdive, Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne as influences. Her voice is relatable for many who, like Allison, enjoy DIY music but never felt like they were truly accepted in a male-centric punk scene. As her fanbase grew from her humble beginnings uploading music to Bandcamp, so did critical recognition. In 2018, Soccer Mommy’s debut album Clean made its way onto numerous publications’ best of the year lists, including Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. In what might be her most visible moment yet in the wider popular culture consciousness, Allison performed at presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ Houston, Texas rally in February.
Not just a talented singer-songwriter, Allison has the chops to match, having studied guitar playing at the Nashville School of the Arts, even performing in the school’s swing band. However, Soccer Mommy’s music is deeply rooted in Nashville’s bubbling DIY scene – as heard during the shambolic, Stephen Malkmus-esque solo on sophomore album cut Bloodstream, for example.
Allison is one of many young Fender users in the modern indie rock landscape, and can often be seen sporting Stratocaster and Jaguar models, as well as a particularly attractive shell pink Offset Mustang. As for her choice of effects, Allison has been known to favour the DS-1 distortion and TU-3 chromatic tuner by Boss, alongside the iconic Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer overdrive. Last year, Allison was one of a number of female artists including Phoebe Bridgers, King Princess, Larkin Poe and Tash Sultana to participate in the worldwide Fender Next program, which aimed to propel rising artists to the next stage of their career.
With a Fender endorsement under her belt, the future is looking increasingly bright for Allison, who at the ripe age of 23 is not just an inspirational female voice in modern music, but one of the brightest shining lights for the indie and singer-songwriter genres at large. Long may she reign.