By Aisha Sharipzhan
Allison’s strong, silvery voice and yearning lyrics brought an air of 90’s nostalgia. The bedroom pop group began the night with “Henry,” a perfect introduction to Allison’s lyrical themes of love, vulnerability and youth’s complications.
“And when he looks/to the sky/there’s a city in his smile and there’s an ocean in his eyes/Where Henry goes”
Singer-songwriter Allison owned the stage like a natural, charming the intimate crowd with soft jokes and small talk as she tuned her guitar between songs.
“Now you know too much about me,” the Nashville native laughed, after revealing she was born in Switzerland when someone shouted, “Where are you from?”
“It’s hard to tell that they’re a newish band; she had a very strong presence,” said D.C. resident Morgan Clinton, 28. “The lyrics are very thoughtful and poignant, [which] matters to me. And great guitar skills, kind of the whole package.”
“I thought she was funny, interacting with the crowd, you don’t often see that at bigger shows so that’s what I really liked about this smaller atmosphere,” said Lewis Creech, 25, of Virginia.
The grungy performance of “Your Dog” stood out to both Clinton and Creech. With its moody melody and morbid lyrics, it’s a song that displays the pent up frustration of a suffocating relationship.
“I don’t want to be your fucking dog/that you drag around/A collar on my neck tied to a pole/Leave me in the freezing cold”
“It was a really great song,” Creech said. “Their sound went back and forth … they’d be more upbeat and fast-paced and then slow it down, I really like how they mixed it up.”
The impression that their songs slowed down lies in Allison’s drowsy vocals against the consistent guitar and bass lines, building up raw energy in the performance. Allison, who said she’s been making music since the age of five, also performed a stripped-down, emotional solo cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire.”
Allison’s project began as lo-fi home recordings posted online and has now evolved into Soccer Mommy’s first full-length album, “Clean,” coming out March 2. “Your Dog,” “Cool” and “Still Clean” from the album are currently available on iTunes and Spotify.
The night ended with “Scorpio Rising,” an unreleased track from their upcoming album that Allison said she is most excited for people to hear. “Kiss you in the park, we’ll meet up after dark … … Ignore all the missed calls from your mother,” Allison sang. Starting out with a simple tune, Allison’s soft voice built up tension against the accelerating instrumentals for a climactic end to the night.
Read more about why Allison is excited for “Scorpio Rising” in the brief interview below:
A: Are you a big Billy Ray Cyrus fan? Why the shirt?
S: I only know “Achy Breaky Heart,” to be honest. [But] look at how good [the shirt] looks! And he’s funny. And I love Miley — old Miley. “7Seven Things.” “Fly on the Wall.”
A: How do you feel about the performance tonight?
S: It was good! I thought it sounded good. My voice is going a little bit.. I’ve been consistently touring since like July so it’s starting to like catch up to me a little bit. We’ve played [in D.C.]here like three times before this and we’ve actually played [at the Rock & Roll Hotel] as well.
A: Which song are you most excited for people to hear from the new album?
S: “Scorpio Rising.” Easy.
A: Why “Scorpio Rising”?
S: Well it’s my sign, and your rising sign is kind of like your outward personality and that’s just kind of what the song is about — the way you’re presenting yourself, I guess, kind of like being different than what you are, and that kind of like causing issues for yourself and your love life.
A: What do you hope people get out of listening to your music?
S: I just hope that they relate to it … … I don’t know if it’ll change anyone’s life or anything but I just hope that it makes people, you know, feel like someone gets them.
A: This is a cliche question, but where do you get your inspiration from?
I feel like I get my inspiration from moments in my life and seeing them in a cinematic way and just kind of writing them as if it’s like a scene or a big influential moment, even if it’s just something small that made me feel something, rather than just [being inspired by] artists. I don’t really just try to write a song because I just heard a great song. [My music is] much more inspired by things in my life.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Soccer Mommy’s Facebook.
Aisha Sharipzhan is a senior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.