On her 2018 LP Clean, Soccer Mommy (a.k.a indie-rock artist Sophie Allison) proved herself a budding master at crafting the kind of casually cutting tunes that might’ve been alt-rock radio hits if there was still alt-rock radio around to have hits on. She called her style “chill but kinda sad,” a pretty decent description for songs like “Cool” and “Your Dog,” where her second-nature ease with hooks and melodies suggested a songwriter whose musical know-how seemed well beyond her years, as much like the professional song mechanics of her native Nashville as her fellow lofi Bandcamp strivers.
Allison, who will be on tour this fall with Vampire Weekend and Wilco, is back with her first song since 2018, “Lucy.” The mood is darker, but playfully so. “Lucy” opens with a slow, haunted bell-like guitar melody that sounds like it was recorded in an empty cathedral during an after hours break-in. The Lucy in question is the devil himself, though the demons Lucifer embodies here seem more personal and private than traditionally Biblical — “the root of all evil,” she sings, describing the allure of darkness, “black leather and a charming smile.” The lyrics evoke a century of blues and country music, and the song’s moody sonics bring to mind goth and Nineties alt-rock’s brooding interiority. And, as she so often does, Allison still manages to land it all on a shimmering chorus you’ll be able to hum next time you need a little pick me up to get you through your own next dark night of the soul.