10 sad and awesome Soccer Mommy covers, from R.E.M. to MGMT to Sheryl Crow
Sophie Allison launched her Soccer Mommy project in 2015 with a series of bedroom-recorded, self-released EPs, before eventually signing to Fat Possum and then Loma Vista and releasing a series of increasingly ambitious albums, including this year's Oneohtrix Point Never-produced Sometimes, Forever. It's one of our favorite albums of 2022 so far, and we've also got an exclusive milky clear vinyl variant of the album available in our store.
In addition to writing her own great songs, Sophie has done a lot of very cool covers over the years, including one that she just released this week. We've rounded up ten that we love. Read on for the list, in no particular order...
"Losing My Religion" (covering R.E.M.)
Soccer Mommy's newest cover is of R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," which she just contributed to Deezer's InVersions 90's compilation, a collection of 16 tracks by artists around the world covering '90s classics. Soccer Mommy does a dark and somber rendition on the track; when Sophie sang "That's me in the corner," I believed it.
Listen at Deezer.
"Indie Rokkers" (covering MGMT)
At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Sophie introduced the Soccer Mommy & Friends Singles Series, an EP featuring covers and demos traded between, well, Soccer Mommy and friends. While MGMT's Andrew VanWynGarten (under solo moniker Gentle Dom) remixed "Circle The Drain," Sophie opted for this cover of "Indie Rokkers," putting a more indie-emo spin on the song.
"Drive" (covering The Cars)
With Sasami covering System Of A Down's "Toxicity" for Soccer Mommy & Friends, Sophie contributed this heartfelt version of The Cars' "Drive." In classic Soccer Mommy fashion, it prominently features reverbed guitar and vocals, while the earnestness in her delivery reveals Soccer Mommy's more affectionate side.
"I'm On Fire" (covering Bruce Springsteen)
Back in 2018, Soccer Mommy released "I'm On Fire" as a B-side to single "Henry." Sophie ups the darkness of the lyrics simply by slowing the tempo, while electric guitars reverberate behind her.
"Wide Open Spaces" (covering The Chicks)
Soccer Mommy embraces her love of pop-country with this cover of "Wide Open Spaces" by The Chicks. Sophie's version adds in distortion and slide guitars, and she really makes the song sound like one of her own. The story of a girl striking out on her own clearly resonates with Sophie; you can hear it especially in the final chorus.
"Leave the Pieces" (covering The Wreckers)
"Wide Open Spaces" isn't the only pop-country cover Soccer Mommy has under her belt. For the 2020 compilation Save Stereogum: An '00s Covers Comp, Sophie contributed her take on "Leave the Pieces," an original by The Wreckers (aka Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp). Sophie's wonderfully stripped-down acoustic version departs from the original's fiddle-forward sound in favor of a more indie-inspired one.
Pick up Save Stereogum: An '00s Covers Comp from Bandcamp to listen.
"Dagger" (covering Slowdive)
Alone onstage at Brooklyn Steel in September 2021, Sophie performed "Dagger" by Slowdive. Her voice is quiet, as is her guitar, and her sparse rendition hammers home the sadness inherent in the song--a sadness offset by harmony and a more textural instrumental in the original.
"I Think You're Alright" (covering Jay Som)
The first cover trade Sophie made for the Soccer Mommy & Friends series was with Jay Som, aka Melina Duterte. Melina covered Lucy, and Sophie did this slowed but true-to-form cover of "I Think You're Alright." The whispery vocals echo the original, and Sophie brings a characteristic shyness to the song's darkly flirty lyrics.
"Iris" w/ Snail Mail (covering Goo Goo Dolls)
At the Pitchfork Festival after show at Thalia Hall in 2019, Sophie joined Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan to harmonize on Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris." The two indie titans pair fantastically on the '90s classic.
"If It Makes You Happy" w/ Phoebe Bridgers (covering Sheryl Crow)
Soccer Mommy made another guest appearance in 2018 at a Phoebe Bridgers show at Music Hall of Williamsburg--this time assisting on Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy" (the show's closer). Phoebe starts the cover out like one of her own somber originals, before embracing the anthemic sound of the original with her full band and guest appearances from Sophie and Conor Oberst.
UPDATE: We were just alerted to another awesome one we missed: *NSYNC's "Tearin' Up My Heart" with Kacey Musgraves! Any others we missed?