She’s a young, buzzy, up-and-coming indie musician, but Sophie Allison performs under a decidedly unhip name: Soccer Mommy.
The 20-year-old isn’t actually a mom, but as a kid growing up in Nashville, Tenn., the honey-voiced singer was sporty, hitting the basketball court as well as the baseball and soccer fields. As for whether her moniker is a nod to her own mother, she tells The Post, “I have more of a soccer dad. He was always the one taking us to sports practice.”
Allison, whose first full-length studio album, “Clean,” with Mississippi label Fat Possum, has won her rave reviews from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and NPR Music, hasn’t made any big geographical moves since then. She still lives at home, in her cluttered childhood bedroom, where she created the Twitter handle “Soccer Mommy” as a joke in high school.
Yet as an artist, she’s soared in ways most young, aspiring musicians only dream of. In 2015, during the summer before she left home for her freshman year at NYU, she started recording her own songs on a four-track and posting them on Bandcamp. Now, just a few years later, she’s headlining two shows in Brooklyn next week — at Bushwick’s Elsewhere Hall and at Rough Trade in Williamsburg — and touring this summer with heavy hitters Paramore, Stephen Malkmus (of Pavement) and ’90s icon Liz Phair.
“It was a steady build,” Allison says coolly of her rapid-fire success on Bandcamp.
Her first album, “For Young Hearts,” came out in June 2016, but this year’s “Clean” has been her breakout, earning her multiple comparisons to Phair herself. It’s not hard to see why: On songs like “Your Dog,” her sticky-sweet, deadpan voice coats the bitter pill of her lyrics: “I don’t want to be your f–king dog/That you drag around/A collar on my neck tied to a pole.” In “Still Clean,” a guy in the guise of a wolf leads her into some deep water: “Left me drowning/Once you picked me out your bloody teeth,” she sings.
“Her music has some bite,” says Russ Borris, music director at Fordham’s WFUV Radio. “You have to be taken by the fact that she’s only 20 and writing these incredibly relatable, well-crafted songs.”
Allison, it seems, saves the youthful drama for her lyrics.
Of her decision to drop out of NYU after two years, she says, “It was pretty easy for me. I just kind of felt like I was at a point where I had a bunch of [music] stuff lined up and I could be doing more if I wasn’t in school.”
The go-with-the-flow attitude must run in her family. Her parents, she recalls, “were pretty chill with it. They didn’t want to be paying for school if I didn’t want to be there.”
Since then, she’s been riding the wave of good press and looks forward to coming back to New York, where she played her very first show as Soccer Mommy, for an audience of 30 at Silent Barn in Ridgewood, Queens. That was two years ago, when she was still a relative unknown.
Allison says she’s not “Your Dog,” nor any kind of dog anymore: “It seems like a lot of people like [my music] so I don’t think it would be fair to say I’m an underdog. Maybe before the album I was. But now, I feel like people are mostly on the train.”
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