There’s a certain notion about Nashville that has become something of a recurring topic of tangential discussion on the site - Nashville’s distinct pleasure (and desire) to claim any and all “persons of note” when it’s able. But, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to cover our bases - this is not to say that the community of Nashville does not value any and all who comprise it’s wonderful population. It absolutely does.
What Nashville does do (at least in the realm of music) is lay claim to many a buzz-worthy or promising artist that lends credibility to the city’s status as a cultural hub. Cities depend on “persons of note” in order to attract business, tourism, etc., because sometimes it’s easier to point at an example rather than making a verbal appeal. It’s all part of the game, and there’s really no point to bemoan or glorify it, but it is a fun idea to pontificate on. So pontificate, we shall.
The notion is (sort of) why almost every country act that shows signs of promise in Nashville gets to become a “Nashville Act.” In their continued success post-Nashville move, Nashville can potentially benefit from the reward in whatever capacity it may come. Unfortunately, that sort of loose interpretation of being a “Nashville Band” can sometimes obfuscate those groups that experience their true genesis in Nashville.
Granted, I’m not saying big acts making mid-career moves to town are doing anything of detriment - anything that benefits Nashville is always fine by me. But sometimes, it’s a little laughable (though half the time, the “Nashville Act” ascriptions tend to come from outsiders unwilling to go about a little extra research.
That being said, these not-so-local acts that come through in a sort of fire and fury can sometimes exacerbate the nature of the beast that is breaking through in Nashville. As the market becomes over-saturated, it becomes harder for great local acts to see their own fair share of the limelight.
However - if we can borrow (and customize) a line from the great Jeff Goldblum - “Good music…. Uh…. Finds a way.”
And such is the case with Nashville’s own, Soccer Mommy, the Sophie Allison led quietly cool project of bedroom pop verisimilitude. For the uninitiated, Soccer Mommy’s most recent record, Clean, released earlier this year with great delight amongst the local and Nashville scenes - Nashville has its own purveyor of complex youthful zeal with a wide ranging appeal. Clean is very much a “Best of 2018….” powerhouse, as it runs the gamut of intimacy and honesty, there is a belief behind Allison’s words that other artists’ might be unable to do as adeptly.
If the album itself didn’t lend enough credence to such a fact, then Soccer Mommy’s East Room release show would have turned any last of the unbelievers into believers. First and foremost, the show was by far and away the single-most crowded East Room show I have ever attended. Secondly, it was the sharpest dressed East Room crowd I’ve ever been a part of, as Allison made a note that suggested attire would be that of the black tie variety. Third, Soccer Mommy is killer live. Allison is understandably great, but her band is solid too. They ran through Clean with a distinctive vigor that was similar to the album, but unique all it’s own. Add that to the fact that they played deep cuts like “Last Girl” from old Glad Fact Records releases.
All in all, one of the best shows of the year, and by far and away the best East Room show in recent memory. Certainly one note in what will only become a growing list of legendary Soccer Mommy shows. So let this be a rambling way of letting any and all know that Soccer Mommy is a true Nashville Band well worth praising and then some.