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Sometimes, Forever, the immersive and compulsively replayable new Soccer Mommy full-length, cements Sophie Allison’s status as one of the most gifted songwriters making rock music right now. Packed with clever nods to synth-filled subgenres like new wave and goth, the album finds Sophie broadening the borders of her aesthetic without abandoning the unsparing lyricism and addictive melodies that make Soccer Mommy songs so easy to obsess over. Sometimes, Forever is the 24-year-old’s boldest and most aesthetically adventurous work, a mesmerizing collection that feels both informed by the past and explicitly of the moment. It’s a fresh peek into the mind of an artist who synthesizes everything — retro sounds, personal tumult, the relatable disorder of modern life — into original music that feels built to last a long time. Maybe even forever.

Sophie was only 20 when she put out Clean, her arresting studio debut, which became one of the most beloved coming-of-age albums of the 2010s. Its bigger-sounding followup, color theory, brought more acclaim and continued to win her fans far outside of the lo-fi bedroom pop scene she cut her teeth playing in. But with all the highs came inevitable lows. Navigating young adulthood is often spiritually draining, to say nothing of the artless administrative chaos associated with being a popular full-time musician. And yet she never stops writing, consistently transforming bouts of instability into emotionally generous music. The latest culmination of that process is Sometimes, Forever, which sees Sophie once again tapping into the turn-of-the-millenium sensibilities she’s known for. This time, though, she advances her self-made sonic world beyond the present and into the future with experimental-minded production, an expanded moodboard of vintage touchstones, and some of her most sophisticated songwriting to date.

The title Sometimes, Forever refers to the idea that both good and bad feelings are cyclical. “Sorrow and emptiness will pass, but they will always come back around — as will joy,” Sophie says. “At some point you’re forced to say, I’ll just have to take both.” She articulates this sentiment on the gut-punch opening of “Still,” her clear voice imbued with a heartbreaking blend of wisdom and hurt: “I don’t know how to feel things small / It’s a tidal wave or nothing at all.” Sophie understands that Sometimes, Forever is lyrically dark, with macabre imagery haunting even its most upbeat passages. But because she’s in a better place than when she wrote the songs, she has no trouble luxuriating in the moments of uncomplicated bliss that coexist alongside the bleakness.



with Purr

Between 1966 and 1970, the American artist Barnett Newman painted a series of four large scale paintings titled Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue. They’re simple, but produce a whole register of feelings, emotions — the color is the subject, the paintings do not represent anything, but only express themselves. How can a canvas saturated in red synthesize something as complicated as fear? It just does. That painting series’ title was a reference to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a play from the 60s by Edward Albee, which was in itself a reference to Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?“, the song from the 30s immortalized in Disney cartoons.

These Newman paintings are the conceptual backdrop of ‘Who Is Afraid of Blue?,’ the sophomore album of lifelong New Yorkers Eliza Barry Callahan and Jack Staffen’s project Purr. It is in many ways a record about these abstract registers of fear — saturated with emotion, introspection, and that very sense of overwhelm.   

 ‘Who is Afraid of Blue?’ also exists lightly in conversation with a short novel Callahan wrote (forthcoming via Catapult, 2024), an auto-fiction document of a woman losing her hearing. And all of it comes back to those Newman works: Purr makes music that functions like those large-scale paintings so very saturated with color. ‘Blue’ is a vast record, with lyrics that bend towards abstraction. But make no mistake: in that abstraction there is intense clarity. Blue is blue: a color, a feeling, a signifier, a way of looking at the world.  



Reservations

Table and blanket reservations are non-refundable, but can be transferred to another available date in the 2023 season.

Please Note: General Admission Donations do not include reserved seating. This is a way to make your gate donation in advance.

Table reservations seat four. 

Blanket reservations are placed in the blankets-only area of lawn and do not allow for chair placement.

See you in the park!

Venue Information

Prescott Park Arts Festival
105 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Organizer Information

Prescott Park Arts Festival


105 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 436-2848

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