“I keep on thinking about what used to be/ Rainbow high school memories/ Back when both of us were only seventeen,” Sophie Allison sings on “Inside Out,” a highlight from the recently-released For Young Hearts, her fourth release under the name Soccer Mommy. The project got its start last year with songs for the recently sad, which was followed up by songs from my bedroom pt. 1 and pt. 2. For Young Hearts is Soccer Mommy’s most assured collection of songs yet and, as the title suggests, all of them are centered around the chaotic messiness of young love, both while in the throes of it and looking back at it in bitter remembrance.
“Skinned Knees” is the gentle sound of falling in love and never quite getting over it: “I left burning streets in Tennessee for a Northeast feel/ But summer always hurts, think of you first and your skin peel.” Stark closer “Switzerland” yearns for an isolation and clear-headedness that never comes: “We could go some place alone/ Don’t you see?/ We could go somewhere it snows/ Just you and me.” On “Bloody Honey,” Allison channels a jilted lounge singer, gliding over melodies through lines like “You had your chance to love me back, and you took your time” and “Don’t you find it kind of funny? That I put my heart out on the line, and now it’s yours against the knife.“
Nostalgia has been played out in music for a while now, but the way Soccer Mommy wields these gauzy memories feels unassuming and deeply resonant. “It feels crazy that we’re getting so old/ It feels crazy that we’re all so…” she trails off on “Grown.” A few lines later: “Everybody’s asking ’bout my future plans/ I’m still trying to get into your pants/ I know I should be letting it go.” Letting go for Allison doesn’t involve trying to recapture past glories; instead, it feels like she’s being forced to relive past mistakes and mishaps. For Young Hearts is appropriately labeled — it’s for those of us who have never quite gotten over all of those failed romances. It’s really special. Listen below.