On August 22, 2022, the GRAMMY Museum welcomed Soccer Mommy for an intimate conversation discussing the making of her album Sometimes, Forever, her creative process, musical influences, career, and more in the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater. The conversation will be moderated by Mikael Wood from The Los Angeles Times.
Sophie Allison was only 20 when she put out Clean, her arresting studio debut, which became one of the most beloved coming-of-age albums of the 2010s. Its bigger-sounding followup, color theory, brought more acclaim and continued to win her fans far outside of the lo-fi bedroom pop scene she cut her teeth playing in. But with all the highs came inevitable lows. Navigating young adulthood is often spiritually draining, to say nothing of the artless administrative chaos associated with being a popular full-time musician. And yet she never stops writing, consistently transforming bouts of instability into emotionally generous music. The latest culmination of that process is Sometimes, Forever.
Packed with clever nods to synth-filled subgenres like new wave and goth, the album finds Allison broadening the borders of her aesthetic without abandoning the unsparing lyricism and addictive melodies that make Soccer Mommy songs so easy to obsess over. Sometimes, Forever is a mesmerizing collection that feels both informed by the past and explicitly of the moment.
To support her vision, Allison enlisted producer Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a Oneohtrix Point Never, whose recent behind-the-boards credits include the Uncut Gems movie score and The Weeknd’s chart-topping Dawn FM. While the pairing might seem unexpected, active listening reveals a kindred creativity; both artists are interested in utilizing memory-triggering sounds and melodies to make invigorating music that transcends its influences. On Sometimes, Forever, Lopatin employs his boundless synth vocabulary and knack for meticulous arrangements to complement Allison’s well-crafted compositions. The result is an epic-feeling mix of raw-edged live takes and studio wizardry.
Sometimes, Forever fixates on those sorts of contradictory forces: desire and apathy, ecstasy and misery, good and evil, self-control and wildness. Straight-up love songs rub up against much gloomier fare. Allison understands that Sometimes, Forever is lyrically dark, with macabre imagery haunting even its most upbeat passages. But because she’s in a better place than when she wrote the songs, she has no trouble luxuriating in the moments of uncomplicated bliss that coexist alongside the bleakness. She says, “I didn't want to make something super depressing without any sense of magic.”
The title Sometimes, Forever refers to the idea that both good and bad feelings are cyclical. “Sorrow and emptiness will pass, but they will always come back around — as will joy,” Allison says. “At some point you’re forced to say, I'll just have to take both.”