Sound & Vision: Soccer Mommy on Color Theory

Sound and Vision
Emily Fox

KEXP's Sound & Vision airs every Saturday morning from 7-9 AM PT, featuring interviews, artistry, commentary, insight, and conversation to that tell broader stories through music, and illustrate why music and art matter. You can also hear more stories in the new Sound & Vision Podcast. New episodes are out every Tuesday. Subscribe now.


When Sophie Allison, who goes by the stage name Soccer Mommy, started to write her latest album, she noticed certain themes and moods developing. This would eventually lead Allison to group her songs into different colors – blue, yellow and gray.

“A couple songs into the album I started to get the idea because I was writing in these very different themes and they felt like they weren't just contextually different, but they felt very different,” says Allison, who named her new album Color Theory (Loma Vista).

Sound & Vision host Emily Fox spoke Soccer Mommy about that album and the stories behind the different sections.

On the different sections in Color Theory:

It starts with blue, which is sadness and depression, loneliness and moves on to yellow, which is about anxiety and paranoia and mental illness along with like physical illness, specifically my mother's and seeing that. And the last part is gray, which is just a kind of dark ending about emptiness and fear of death and fear of the future and aging and loss of different parts of yourself.

On mental health and the blue section of Color Theory:

Things like OCD have been a problem with me since I was a little kid. But, I think that I've developed these problems with falling into moods really deeply as I got older. And sometimes it'd be depressive episodes where I didn't feel like doing absolutely anything. I would stay in bed for a long time and not see anyone and sometimes would even get suicidal. And it’s been a big part of my life, but I think another big part of my life has become working against it.

On the track “Yellow is the Color of your Eyes” in the yellow section:

That song is specifically about being on tour and being away, and my mom has had cancer for like 10 years and it’s terminal, and kind of feeling like that time is slipping away, even though, in the current state she's doing well and she's feeling good and all of her medications are working.  But she is old and being away so much, I started to have this creeping anxiety of thinking about the fact that that wasn't going to last forever and I might wake up one day and have wasted time where I could have been focusing on keeping my relationship constant.

On “Gray Light” and the gray section:

It's about watching sickness and how that makes you question life and aging. It's like this weird feeling of feeling like you've got your whole life ahead of you. But also, it's going to be gone so quick. And also, you kind of want it to be gone. And you aren't happy, and you don't know if you can make it that far and you don't know if you could survive the things that you might have pushed on you. And just having all these fears about the future and about life and about aging and not knowing what to do with them and feeling like you're drowning in it a little bit.  

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