Sorry were in the middle of gearing up to release their debut album, 925, when the live music sector came to a grinding halt at the beginning of the pandemic. And while the London-based indie rock band made it through the chaos of the last few years, they also experienced their fair share of setbacks and losses.
“It was all just such a weird experience. To be honest, I was a bit numb to it because everyone was experiencing the same thing,” says Sorry’s lead vocalist Asha Lorenz. “It was such a weird time so it was hard to think about the album being received in real life.”
To process everything going on, the music Lorenz ended up writing functioned more as streams of consciousness while complicated emotions swirled around. The band’s recent music was something she had to continue molding and shaping until it landed upon something a little more direct.
“I definitely feel that I can put away some sort of event in my head or unresolved emotions when I write. A lot of the songs are shit and lead to nowhere but they’re kind of just sketches for the collision of everything I’ve been thinking about.” says Lorenz. “When it all comes together I’m like ‘Aw yeah, this is the symbol of what I’ve been trying to make sense of,’ then I feel like I can put it in the past.”
Written in the aftermath of a relationship at the tail end of the pandemic, Sorry’s sophomore album, Anywhere But Here, paints the picture of being lost within a twentysomething romance while incorporating a playful nod that drips in unmistakable humour. The record almost feels like a time capsule for what the last few years encompassed, the sense of comfortability with being lost while still managing to find the light at the end of the tunnel. “I feel like comedy is good for sadness,” she says. “It’s a ‘you have to laugh at life’ kind of album. I try to use satire because I like to be a bit tongue and cheek about things. I try to say things in a way that is a bit different or so direct that I want everything to have a specific meaning.”
Being able to address pain and have it reflect throughout a body of work isn’t always easy, but for Sorry, the band manages to find peace when looking back on the bookmarks and milestones of life that become immortalized through their writing. “It’s nice to reflect on something that’s sad,” says Lorenz. “When I write a song, I might feel sad when I listen to it and then two months later, I can see that time has moved on. I can then use it as a landmark for when you need to check in on yourself to see that things have passed and that you’ll be okay.”
While the record is certainly full of powerful expressions, Sorry doesn’t feel the need to be overly vulnerable. The band finds ways within their lyrics to avoid overtly pointing towards one clear idea, allowing fans to find their own truth. “For me, the lyrics are really important,” says Lorenz. “I try not to say too much or give excess and try to make it as personal and relatable so that people can see themselves inside the song – but not see themselves completely within it.”
Aside from the record’s deeper meanings, Sorry continues to surprise listeners by experimenting with and exploring their sound. Prior to their sophomore album release, the band put out their EP Twixtustwain, which had them playing around with more electronic vibrations. “The album feels very different to that EP, it was just showing a different side,” Lorenz says. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the band would once again continue to slightly change the shape of their writing without losing their trademark sound.
With Anything But Here, the band had a new approach to their process and recruited Portishead’s Adrian Utley to help guide them along. “We kind of wanted it to sound like an old record but with modern production and songwriting; mixing the old and the new,” says Lorenz. “We love Portishead and we really love that live album, that was kind of something we wanted to do as well. They have some weird sounds and production-y bits that they incorporate into their live sound. We thought he would be cool. Louis and I aren’t very technical so he was quite good at helping with that, giving the album a bit more continuity throughout.”
By Glenn Alderson
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