MUSIC

Soccer Mommy Grieves Passing Time with "yellow is the color of her eyes"

Sophie Allison's second new song this year comes to terms with the dissociation of life on the road.

Brian Ziff

Sophie Allison has experienced a whirlwind in the two years since her momentous debut Clean struck the indie rock world.

Her career might still be in its early stages, but Allison knows firsthand the crushing side effects of ceaseless touring. She hints at them on "yellow is the color of her eyes," Soccer Mommy's second new single of the year. The seven-minute epic is Allison at her dreamiest, her featherlight vocals backed by hypnotic, descending guitar riffs that feel more detached than the grungy spirit that permeated Clean. These aesthetics are a fitting backdrop for the story of "yellow," in which her fears of losing time culminate as she misses her mom back at home. As Allison sings of time escaping her, "yellow" invokes a similar lapse in time as its spellbinding pace drifts on.

Allison is proficient in catchy melodies and couplets, of which "yellow" contains plenty: "I'm falling apart over a memory / And the weight in my heart is getting too heavy / 'Cause every word is a nail that slips in slowly / And I can't hammer it down enough to keep holding." But even with her poppy roots guiding her, Allison still often embraces the grim and grotesque. She blatantly alludes to her mother's eventual death here—"Loving you isn't enough, you'll still be deep in the ground when it's done"—the type of sudden, wide-eyed realizations that comprise the best Soccer Mommy songs.

Allison is an endlessly sharp and stirring songwriter; and as the extended coda of "yellow" gives way to beguiling electric guitar and harp solos, it invites us to think about where time and life have escaped us, even at home.

Culture Feature

Shein's Swastika Necklace Scandal: Fast Fashion or Just Fascism?

A cultural misunderstanding may be responsible for Shein's swastika necklace scandal...but it's still an awful company

Popular fast-fashion retailer Shein came under fire this week for selling a swastika necklace on their website.

A Chinese company, Shein has become well-known for their inexpensive clothing and accessories, often featured in so-called "haul" videos on YouTube. Shein has since removed the necklace from their site and issued an apology. But screenshots of the faux-gold necklace—listed for between $2.50 and $4.00 as "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace"— quickly spread on social media, with users expressing their disgust at the apparent insensitivity to what that symbol represents.

Earlier this month Shein was called out for cultural insensitivity after listing Muslim prayer rugs—some featuring an image of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca—as "Fringe Trim Carpets" for decorative use and for selling traditional Southeast Asian dresses modeled by white women and renamed to remove cultural signifiers.

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MUSIC

Surfaces Want Us All to Have a "Good Day"

The indie pop duo sat down with Popdust for an exclusive interview.

Capturing the sentimentality of summer is imperative for indie-pop duo Surfaces.

Surfaces - Good Day (Official Video) www.youtube.com

"Sunny days bring out some of the most positive aspects of life," the duo said in an exclusive interview with Popdust. "Summer always brings new experiences and encapsulates happy nostalgia." Perhaps that's what makes the irony of "Good Day" so endearing. "No more school, no more rules" lead singer Forest Frank croons over snapping fingers and a light strum of the guitar. The single wasn't released until October, and with school very much back in session and the weather shifting into the grey of winter, "Good Day's" bubbly persona hits listeners in a tender spot this time of year. The video, which finds Frank and guitarist Colin Padalecki relaxing near the pool, further captures the song's bright essence. We chatted more with the band about their first tour, their new album, and how they got into feel-good pop music.

How did you get into music?

C: "I was never formally taught any instrument growing up but I had a natural fascination about the music creation process. Being an avid music listener (like most people) I just had to know what was going on behind the curtain. I've always enjoyed writing, but weaving in music production seemed to give words a whole new purpose for me."

F: "My family had a piano in our living room that always caught my attention. I feel like I could sit at it for hours and never get bored. I loved coming up with melodies and discovering new chord structures. When I was around 17 I saw someone making beats on YouTube and instantly wanted to give it a shot. Once I started I didn't want to stop. Colin and I met up a few years later and the rest is history."

Tell me about "Good Day." What was the creative process like?

C: "Good Day is kind of a functional song in the way that it could be anyone's soundtrack to having a good time outside. The bossa nova chords and laid back drums are supposed to support the lax mood. It's one of the least intricate tracks we've released, which helps it to come across as an easy listen."

F: "We went 'big production' for our previous videos, so we wanted to try something more minimal. We wanted it to feel like the viewer was watching us chill in the back yard of a house…nothing special. Also, we wanted to match the minimalism of our artwork/brand in a way we hadn't done before."

How is tour life? Tell me about your upcoming tour?

C: "We wrapped up a summer tour a few months ago that was actually our first tour ever. It was awesome to see our fans singing the lyrics and genuinely enjoying themselves. Living in the positive environment we had been trying to create all along was such an amazing feeling. We are looking forward to keeping the same energy and intimacy on a bigger scale across the country. We hope every person who is able to make it to this next tour walks away feeling like a better version of themselves. That has always been the goal!"

What can we expect from your new album?

F: "This next project is basically a culmination of everything we've made so far. There really is something for everyone. It can't really be described by genre, but it feels cohesive. To us it sounds like the wholesome/positive energy of oldies music packaged in a more modern mix. There are a few songs that hit what our fans would expect, and others that are entirely new flavors. We are always trying to find new ways to express ourselves, which always keeps things interesting."