Before Osheaga: Soccer Mommy on Heatwaves, Barbenheimmer, and What’s Next

Entrevue réalisée par Lyle Hendriks
Genres et styles : Alternative / Indie Rock

renseignements supplémentaires

Sophia Allison—better known by her stage moniker Soccer Mommy—has been making consistent waves in the indie world for more than seven years. 

Since the release of her latest project, the excellent Sometimes, Forever (prod. by Daniel Lopatin, AKA Oneohtrix Point Never), Soccer Mommy and her band have been touring the world. And while the new album still features Soccer Mommy hallmarks, like her grungy-yet-dreamy instrumentation and gut-wrenchingly beautiful vocals, it also represented a shift in tone and aesthetic for the Nashville-based artist. Lopatin’s production allows Allison to bring her dark, cinematic, fantastical inspirations under the umbrella of her music, without ever compromising on the central vulnerability that gives her work such appeal.

In advance of Soccer Mommy’s show at Osheaga 2023, we caught up with Sophia to talk about the tribulations of touring during the hottest ever July on record, top films of the year, and the joys of being bandmates with your boyfriend.

PAN M 360: It seems like it’s been a really busy but successful year since the release of Sometimes, Forever. How has this leg of the tour been treating you and the band?

Sophia Allison: It’s been great. And it’s been really fun, pretty chill. Very, very, very hot, so far. It’s outside, so it’s definitely been a very sweaty tour at this point, but you know, that’s what showers and swimming pools and everything are for. I’m in a parking lot in New Jersey, but we’re gonna be in Philly later.

PAN M 360: Have you gained any new insights or ideas about these tracks over the past year and a bit of playing them? Or do you try to keep it more in line with the sound and style of the recordings?

Sophia Allison: They’re usually fairly aligned, not just necessarily with the original recording, but with whatever we work up for the live show in the beginning. Because obviously, there are lots of things you have to change, you know, there’s usually a lot of parts that you add in, and you can’t play them all. So you pick parts and see what you can do to fill the space and make it feel the same, but still keep everything important. 

But honestly, it stays pretty aligned. I mean, we change little things all the time. It can even be like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna play this part like this, this time, and start playing this chord differently.’ Just little, little tweaks that kind of adjust the feel, and you make them because of the nature of how the live shows are going. 

Sometimes you want a song to feel a little bit more energetic, because of the fact that you’re playing it live and trying to, you know, get people excited. And you make small changes, but we do it all the time. I mean, I still make changes. I made a change to “Your Dog” recently. I’m still making changes to stuff, even the first album occasionally. So it’s always little tweaks that you could think of that would make it just gel a bit better.

PAN M 360: You mentioned that you’ve been doing the cover of “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow, which you dropped yesterday, for years. Is there a specific moment in time (or maybe a specific shopping mall) that this song brings you back to?

Sophia Allison: Honestly, no, it just makes me feel like I’m at the beach! Like I’m in an early 2000s beach movie scene. But I can’t place why exactly. I think it’s just because of the nature of the song. But it’s one that I personally really love, I listen to it all the time. We first played it probably before Clean (2018) even came out. We tried to play that at one show, very unrehearsed. And it was not great. Messy. And we’ve kind of never thought of it again, but I’ve always wanted to redo it because it’s really fun. 

We all live in Nashville, so usually it takes a couple of practices to get a new song together. And we had a little bit of time off where we just went and recorded it. And that song is honestly so much fun because it’s just really straightforward in what we’re gonna do with it. There are these very specific parts that need to be there. So it was easy to seamlessly just do what we basically did when we did the live takes.

PAN M 360: You’ve mentioned before about the role nature plays in your process and general mental peace. Have there been any stops on the tour that you’ve found particularly inspiring? 

Sophia Allison: On the tour so far, no. But we’ve mostly kind of been stuck in amphitheatres, which are oftentimes just very beautiful tents out basically in a wooded area—that’s been nice. We did get to play at Virginia Beach, and we were on the boardwalk, that was really fun. It was super cool. Personally, it feels so much better to get to hang out in a cool place before playing a show—or just in general—than, you know, being stuck in a green room at a big, big venue where it just feels like basically like a bunch of white rooms, no windows. 

PAN M 360: You’ve mentioned a bit in the past about your love and appreciation for your partner and bandmate Julian. I’m wondering if there are any weird or unexpected things that come with writing, playing, and touring with your partner?

Sophia Allison: No, honestly, it’s been great. It’s been great the whole time. I mean, the writing, no one else is involved with. So that part kind of comes to anyone who’s playing with me closer to when we’re going to be recording so that they can learn the songs. But honestly, it’s great. We both love to travel and we’ve lived with each other for a long time. So I think we’re pretty good at being around each other all the time at this point. And it’s just great, honestly—I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PAN M 360: They say a vacation is like a test of a relationship. So a tour must be the ultimate expression of that, right?

Sophia Allison: Yeah, no, totally. And Julian has been touring with me far longer than anyone who currently is. And he’s been with me, like, as long as I’ve been touring. And we’ve been living together that long as well. So I think he’s been through the ups and downs with me—we both like the same thing, we both want to be playing music, so now it’s easy, you know? Like, if it was gonna be awful, it would have been awful when we didn’t have any money and we were in the car driving around long, long distances all the time, not getting any rest.

PAN M 360: Do you have any 2023 films of the year (so far)?

Sophia Allison: I’m trying to think what I’ve seen this year—I’ve seen so many things this year. I mean, I will say, Barbie and Oppenheimer. They’re both very good—obviously extremely different movies. But they were both awesome. I have a hard time sometimes telling what’s happened in what year—like, what happened before January and what didn’t? I don’t think I can give a definite favourite, but I saw Decision to Leave, I liked that a lot. I also saw a movie called Sick of Myself, and it was really good—that must have been this year. 

PAN M 360: Last thing—have you had much chance to work on new music since last summer? Is there anything you can tell us about the stuff you’ve been working on or conceptualizing lately? 

Sophia Allison: Yeah! I’ve been writing a lot, so there’s a lot of music written, but not recorded. Hopefully, I’ll get to record stuff, soon, but I have no idea when currently. Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts. But I’m really excited about the next thing. To be honest, I’m really looking forward to getting to work on it and start putting my ideas into place. That’s pretty much been where my creative focus is.

Photo by: Daniel Topete

Tout le contenu 360

Vancouver Turning Point Ensemble celebrates in Montreal with SMCQ

Vancouver Turning Point Ensemble celebrates in Montreal with SMCQ

FIMAV 2024 | Sélébéyone, or cultural intersections according to Steve Lehman

FIMAV 2024 | Sélébéyone, or cultural intersections according to Steve Lehman

Kaia Kater Talks About Her New Album Strange Medicine

Kaia Kater Talks About Her New Album Strange Medicine

FIMAV | Natural Information Society informs you of its great sounds !

FIMAV | Natural Information Society informs you of its great sounds !

CMIM – Piano 2024: The finalists’ penultimate stretch (Part 2)

CMIM – Piano 2024: The finalists’ penultimate stretch (Part 2)

CMIM – Piano 2024: The penultimate round of finalists (Part 1)

CMIM – Piano 2024: The penultimate round of finalists (Part 1)

Musical Chairs, a chamber music festival at the Schulich School of Music

Musical Chairs, a chamber music festival at the Schulich School of Music

Swing the Mass at Cinquième salle : Will Todd’s Mass in Blue for a rare occasion in Quebec

Swing the Mass at Cinquième salle : Will Todd’s Mass in Blue for a rare occasion in Quebec

Meet Uuriintuya Khalivan: the woman who brings Mongolia to Canada

Meet Uuriintuya Khalivan: the woman who brings Mongolia to Canada

Women’s Silk Roads at the Centre des Musiciens du Monde Festival 2024

Women’s Silk Roads at the Centre des Musiciens du Monde Festival 2024

Tribute to John Williams: the darling of musicians and audiences alike

Tribute to John Williams: the darling of musicians and audiences alike

Corridor: From Analog Legacy to Electronic Exploration

Corridor: From Analog Legacy to Electronic Exploration

FIMAV 2024 | Scott Thomson, new artistic director, explains and reveals his favorites

FIMAV 2024 | Scott Thomson, new artistic director, explains and reveals his favorites

Nastasia Y, her ukrainian culture infused with Canada

Nastasia Y, her ukrainian culture infused with Canada

CMIM: Shira Gilbert and Zarin Mehta talk about Piano 2024 edition

CMIM: Shira Gilbert and Zarin Mehta talk about Piano 2024 edition

Before the CMIM kicks off, Chantal Poulin talks to us about the Piano 2024 edition.

Before the CMIM kicks off, Chantal Poulin talks to us about the Piano 2024 edition.

Wake Island at the Phi Center: multidimensional!

Wake Island at the Phi Center: multidimensional!

Alex Henry Foster Talks About Overcoming Death and his new album, Kimiyo

Alex Henry Foster Talks About Overcoming Death and his new album, Kimiyo

Information: Montreal Oct. 1970 by Tim Brady: a first opera about the October ’70 Crisis

Information: Montreal Oct. 1970 by Tim Brady: a first opera about the October ’70 Crisis

P’tit Belliveau Talks About His New Album, Frogs, and Income Tax

P’tit Belliveau Talks About His New Album, Frogs, and Income Tax

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

At Annie-Claude Deschênes’ table: between utensils & sound experimentation

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

OSL | Naomi Woo | Musique du Nouveau Monde

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Anderson & Roe, piano duo great innovators

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Hawa B or not Hawa B ? “sadder but better” EP answers the question !

Inscrivez-vous à l'infolettre