Listen to This: Soccer Mommy’s latest release ‘Shotgun’ pushes her further into dream-pop

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Midwife, beabadoobee and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Welcome back to Listen to This! We were going to say that all of this week’s songs had a shoegaze-rock feel to them, but we just couldn’t stay away from FINNEAS’ latest single, “Naked.” After all, he’s now halfway to getting an EGOT. With that said, all of this week’s songs are excellent, so read on for more.

“Shotgun” by Soccer Mommy

Holden Lay, Staff Writer 

With her latest single, “Shotgun,” Soccer Mommy pushes further into the dream-pop territory she first explored with the excellent 2020 release “color theory.” The song starts with a simple garage-rock guitar riff and drums, over which she sings, “Uppers and my heart never meshed / I hated coming down,” building a sense of tension that explodes into a chorus backed by crashing, warbling, reverb-laden guitars. The shoegaze-esque instrumentation on this track has a huge, full feel, and marks a welcomed contrast with the slick, angular simplicity of the verse. This more focused, heavier sound makes for an unexpectedly successful pairing with a cleaner production sensibility. Although the sound and songwriting here are a little more straightforward than some of the more sprawling tracks on her last release, she commands attention through this newfound immediacy and simplicity. As the first preview of her upcoming album “Sometimes, Forever,” “Shotgun” seems to promise that Soccer Mommy will keep surprising listeners with her ever-shifting sonic focus.

“Send the Pain Below” by Midwife

Jack Solomon, Contributing Writer 

Midwife has been taking off in shoegaze circles after last year’s ethereal album “Luminol” and a slot opening for blackgaze titans Deafheaven earlier this year. Madeline Johnston’s latest release under the moniker comes as part of a series by her label The Flenser, including releasing experimental covers of ’90s and ’00s nu-metal songs. The New Mexico-based artist transforms Chevelle’s 2003 post-grunge hit from angsty and overcompressed into tranquil and haunting. It works well with her signature heaven metal style, where fuzzed-out guitar chords mesh with echoey, processed vocals that manage to sound both synthetic and soothing. The song moves forward at a glacial pace, and the buried screams under the hook of “much like suffocating” support the dark atmosphere. Midwife is always able to make simple and repetitive themes powerful, and this cover is no different.

“Talk” by beabadoobee

Annie Williams, Contributing Writer

beabadoobee has made her return to the indie pop scene with “Talk,” the lead single on her upcoming sophomore album, “Beatopia.” The album centers around an imaginary world beabadoobee created during her childhood, and “Talk” encapsulates that same sentiment of youth with its upbeat, whimsical tone. Accompanied by thrashing guitar and buoyant drumming, the more typical rock elements of the song — like mildly screechy guitar solos and a pinch of distortion — are balanced out comfortably, coalescing into something that’s equally bright and innocent in its simplicity. “Talk” details a typical night out, serving as inspiration to find someone with whom you, too, can “make out when it’s too late” and “go out on a Tuesday.”

“Naked” by FINNEAS

Yas Akdag, Music Editor

The intro to FINNEAS’ latest single “Naked” is certainly idiosyncratic. He talks through a robot-like effect, but the funniest part is Billie Eilish’s distinct cackle, recalling the intro “!!!!!!!” to her debut album. Don’t let the start put you off, though, as “Naked” promptly kicks off with a simple but infectious bassline that’s sure to get you nodding along. With minimal instrumentation and effortless vocal production, FINNEAS has a subtle production style, and yet you never feel like the track is missing anything. This is just as true on “Naked,” which is typical FINNEAS, but with both the tempo and fuck-you attitude turned up. “I can’t believe you’ve seen me naked,” he sings before leading into the catchy post-chorus, where he cycles through “La-da-da, da-da-da.” Constantly introducing new sounds, the song’s arrangement is refreshing. This is best epitomized in the bridge, which surprises with its rock-esque, distorted electric guitars as FINNEAS bitterly sings, “All that time spent with my therapist / Talking over all your arrogance.” While still very much in his wheelhouse, “Naked” marks an exciting new chapter for the recent Oscar winner.

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