album: Clean - Soccer Mommy
Clean is the most relatable, sincere portrait of heartbreak, personal growth, and the struggle to find yourself that you may ever hear. All those moments in life that you've felt as if no one understood; as if your heart was ripped from your chest never to be put back in its place; as if you would never get past this singular incident — Soccer Mommy's Clean is musical evidence that you can and you will.
The beauty of music is that we're able to interpret the meaning behind the creation as we see fit. We can curl up with our favorite album and believe that this person we've never met has the answer, and Clean provides that gesture of comfort from its outset.
The album begins with the soft strums of "Still Clean", Sophie Allison recalling a quickly fading relationship, her voice nearing a whisper as she says, "Only what you wanted for a little while." It's a haunting invitation to the rest of the album; a sign of what's to come and the emotional journey you're undertaking.
Despite Allison's often subdued vocals, there's a screaming, biting roar to her words that adds an emotional weight to each and every track. Whether fighting back against someone who treats them like "Your Dog" or finding hope in the idea that one day they'll find someone who truly loves them ("Blossom (Wasting All My Time"), Still Clean beams with an intense honesty. From the quiet prickling appearance of piano in "Blossom" to the swaying magic of the irresistibly catchy and endearing "Last Girl", Soccer Mommy packs the album with tiny hidden secrets; moments that make your heart flutter.
The thing about life, love and moving on is that we never have to share any of it. But Soccer Mommy is so open with those moments; their tender, and at times soaring ("Scorpio Rising") confessions unraveling as a most intimate conversation. And while we all may struggle at one point or another with moving on, forgetting the moments that broke us, and picking up the pieces of the person we used to be, Clean is a reminder that eventually it all comes back together. On the album's final single, Allison sings, "Wildflowers don't grow in the city/My heart turns gray and shriveled now/I want to be who I wasn't." It's a closing reminder that in the places where growth wasn't meant to happen, in the confusion and constant pacing of life we find who we were meant to be and we bloom.