Soccer Mommy Brings Bedroom to Stage

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Amelia Henry

Soccer Mommy opened a show at the Bowery Ballroom with songs off of her first full length album “For Young Hearts.”

By Amelia Henry, Contributing Writer

On Sept. 21, Oakland artist Jay Som killed the Bowery Ballroom with Detroit-based singer-songwriter Stef Chura and NYU’s own Soccer Mommy. The three prominent bedroom pop bands hit New York on their national tour and pleased audiences with both energetic and emotional performances.

NYU junior Sophie Allison, better known as Soccer Mommy, opened the show with songs from her first full album, “For Young Hearts,” as well as “Collection,” which was released just last month. She brought the house down with “Inside Out,” a wistful melody about not wanting to fall for someone new. She played the last couple of songs without a backing band, letting the full emotional weight of songs like “Allison” fall on her lone voice and guitar. Blue light surrounded her as she sang “Allison, I’ll tell you something/you just broke this child’s heart,” culminating her set with real feeling rather than noise.

Stef Chura’s set was much like Soccer Mommy’s, playing the louder and more energetic songs from her album “Messes” with a backing band and the heavier tracks by herself. The wailing hook and punchy guitars of her song “You” made the audience dance while the sad, imagery-filled lyrics of “Thin” had them swaying to her lone guitar. Stef Chura’s music is more influenced by the ‘90s than Soccer Mom- my’s, with a grungier sound and uttering vocals. However, the two sets affected audiences in a similar way and played well on the emotional tones of one another.

Melina Duterte, known musically as Jay Som, headlined the show and played favorites from her new album, “Everybody Works,” and from last year’s “Turn Into.” Her set was quite a production, turning her acclaimed album into a sensory experience. For example, during her song “One More Time, Please,” a tune about feeling a new crush lose interest, the groovy bass could be felt through the floor, the lights changed with the beat of the song and Duterte’s vocals floated through the venue in a way that felt like the song was in and of everything in the room. Yes, the band created a sea of sound, but at times it dwindled down until the only thing that could be heard in a room full of hundreds of people was the faint, soft clatter of a cymbal every couple of seconds, still keeping a beat. Their use of noise, silence and light astonished the crowd while the chemistry between the band members in their light-hearted joking around on stage entertained.

This show, and particularly this lineup, was amazing in that every set built on the lyrical content and musical style of the last, and they changed while still maintaining a similar core feeling or sound. It’s astounding that all of these artists started making music by themselves in their bedrooms, which shows that anyone can live out their dreams by just putting themselves and their work out there. Though they had modest beginnings, all three bands are supremely talented and are definitely artists to watch.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 25 print edition. 

Email Amelia Henry at [email protected]