Color Theory is Sophie Allison’s follow-up to Clean, the 2018 record that brought the Nashville singer-songwriter better known as Soccer Mommy to the forefront of indie rock’s radar. On her sophomore album, Allison turns away from external concerns such as romantic relationships and plunges inward, charting deeply personal waters with the cascading guitars and lilting vocals that have become her hallmarks, fuzzed by a new, glitching, and glimmering industrial edge. In contrast to its bigger and brighter sound, the mood is grimmer, the emotional truths darker. When Sophie Allison sings, she sounds wide-open and guarded, casual and intense, intimate and coolly removed. Color Theory is permeated by themes of accumulation, gradual spiraling, and downward motion, be it circling the drain, sinking, or drowning. But where accumulation can often feel like a build to a grand, orchestrated finale, Allison uses it instead to create the feeling over the course of this album of something coming apart and being laid bare. As explorations of pain go, ‘Color Theory’ is as beautiful as it is brave.