On her first LP as Soccer Mommy, Nashville singer-songwriter Sophie Allison created a relatable, honest, and fantastic record in Clean. These traits immediately reveal themselves on “Still Clean”, which may set some false expectations as it features just Allison on guitar. After a transition that leads into “Cool”, however, the record gets more dense. Another transition later and the listener is treated to one of the year’s stand-out tracks, “Your Dog”. Allison pulls no punches on the tune, opening it with the line, “I don’t want to be your fucking dog”.

There are some really amazing, slower tracks on Clean as well. “Flaw” is a bit of a slow build while “Blossom” sounds like a bedroom recording with just Allison on guitar and singing for most of it before some more instruments come in right before the end. “Scorpio Rising” starts quiet then becomes huge. “Last Girl” is another track like “Cool”, where Allison, over a grizzled guitar, anxiously wonders why a lover wants her over their perfect-appearing ex. It’s a completely relatable track, and a great example of why Clean truly is one of the year’s standout records.

Clean is on Fat Possum Records and it can be picked up on Bandcamp.

To review the first 25 of our Favorite Albums of 2018, click here. The final 25 of our Favorite Albums, meanwhile, is available here.

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