There may have been a certain lo-fi quality to the recordings that Sophie Allison posted online from her Nashville grade school days up through college at NYU, but all along, she’s been exploring how she could flesh out, arrange and sonically enhance the emotional keenness of her songs.
Now half a dozen years into her celebrated indie rock project Soccer Mommy, she and her established lineup of band mates reached into the far-flung realm of experimental musical for a producer, Daniel Lopatin of Oneohtrix Point Never, who could help them maximize the music’s immersive tensions on their third album, Sometimes, Forever. In the studio, they swirled exquisitely chaotic, atmospheric layers around Allison’s neat, wistful melodies, her gutsy amplification of hidden fears and impulses and their lean, live band attack.
For WNXP, she made a playlist of post-punk and alt-rock bands, and one folk-rock outlier, The Roches, who elevated the art of orchestrating dissonance and harmony, combining drifting dreaminess and bristling noise, veiling intense songwriting in distorting and disorienting effects, between the early 1980s and late ‘90s. Allison says that all of that served as rich, sonic source material for her and her collaborators:
“This is a playlist of songs/artist that inspired some of the sonics of Sometimes, Forever. There’s a lot of cool, washy soundscapes, mixed with some raw band performance and softer acoustic vibes, all of which found their way onto the record.”