"Your Dog" is the first single off Soccer Mommy’s junior album coming out in March.
Soccer Mommy is the name 19-year-old Nashville-native Sophie Allison records under.
She first became known for her DIY-bedroom recording and self-publishing on Bandcamp before being signed to Fat Possum records two years ago.
"Your Dog" was released on Jan. 10 of this year to promote Allison’s next album, "Clean," giving a very promising taste of what is to come.
I thought I was sick of the majority of recent indie music, the routine of predominantly female acts that choose a slightly off-beat name to counteract the bland pattern of their strictly acoustic singles. I’ve found it repetitive and boring to say the least, the over insensitivity and quivering voices made me roll my eyes and press "skip."
That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when I found this track on a Spotify playlist titled "Women of Indie" I had played on a fluke. The melodic intro, though fuzzy and intricate, sounds like it could fit in the indie rulebook, and it wasn’t until the drums crashed in while the guitar faded into the opening lyric that I had felt like I had just successfully panned for gold.
The song is utterly confrontational and honest to the toxic, yet compelling nature of this emotionally abusive relationship. Lyrics like, "I’m not a prop for you to use/When you’re lonely or confused" allow Allison to display an astute awareness of the abusive dichotomy of these two seemingly opposed forces. In rebuttal of her own better judgement, Allison writes "Forehead kisses break my knees in/lead me crawling back to you." The purposeful diction demonstrated with the word "crawling" ties into the recurring "dog" imagery first presented in the title.
The notion of being someone’s pet instantly leaves listeners with a gross, slimy feeling, almost if one feels demeaned alongside the speaker just for listening to the song.
Intentional or not, this track is a perfect response to the Stooge’s great "I Wanna Be Your Dog," even if nearly 50 years later.
By itself, the musical arrangement of the song is very smart. Guitar is used mostly in breaks of Allison’s clear voice, rather than to accompany it. Instead, the drums and bass line are left to support the verses by themselves, while the guitar comes in for the chorus and for the impact of the final verse.
Look out for "Clean" on March 2. I know I will.
Johanna Sommer is a junior at City Honors School.