Swirling Emotions | “circle the drain” – Soccer Mommy


Sarah Beltran, Senior Staff Writer

Once more, Sophie Allison, aka Soccer Mommy, has proven her ability to tell a narrative that sticks with her listeners. “circle the drain,” the latest single off her forthcoming album color theory, is a self-examining poem that rings with soft familiarity in its ‘90s girlband hit sound.

Achingly beautiful imagery swirls ’round and around’ the boxy drums and gritty guitar. The nuanced details send us into full boombox-on-a-summer-night mode, channeling the likes of Alanis, Gwen and Avril. It feels like I’ve heard this track a hundred times in a faded memory. Each time the drums kick in, my heart swells like reliving a first kiss over and over. This is how Allison connects with her listeners so intimately: she tugs at all the painfully right strings with nostalgic textures and playful melodies to paint her one-of-a-kind lyrics.

“circle the drain” is showing yet another side of Allison. With “lucy,” she pulled us into romantic darkness, while yellow is the color of her eyes pushed us into piercingly bright images of Allison’s relationship with her sick mother. Her newest song falls somewhere in between; still zoned in on life’s anxieties but through a bluer, day-to-day lense. “Hey I’ve been falling apart these days / Split open watching my heart go ’round and around,” she sings. These circular metaphors reflect the prosaic weight of human emotion, all delivered through a catchy Soccer Mommy tune. 

In color theory, Allison will continue to guide us through her kaleidoscope of a soul. The follow-up album to her smash debut studio album Clean will have three phases: blue, yellow and gray. Each color explores a different emotional aspect of Allison’s struggles with mental health and family crises. Allison has strategically given us a sneak peek of each phase, so we can begin to see the full picture that color theory will paint – out on Feb. 28.

Feature image by Whitten Sabbatini; retrieved from The New York Times.