For the past week, many of us in Texas have dealt with uncertainties surrounding power and water. In dealing with these uncertainties, like how long I would be without running water, I found solace in revisiting 925 by Sorry.
Sorry is a U.K. band and 925 is their 2020 debut album. Comprised of 13 songs, the album infuses a very post-punk British sound with pop and other genres.
The band’s two forming members, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, create a dark yet hopeful aesthetic that has taken over four years to cultivate. Through smart lyricism and what feels like purposeful stylistic and sometimes chaotic choices, their album 925 sends listeners on an escape from the current realities of everyday problems.
One commonality in Sorry’s songs is the way Lorenz and O’Bryen hold a discussion with each other that sometimes results in a harmony or more of a conversation. Either way, their collaborations on songs are indicative of their comfort with each other.
Off the bat, Sorry makes it clear they have a post-punk sound, but also invite other musical influences. Starting with “Right Round The Clock,” Sorry offers a different take on the chorus of “Mad World” by Gary Jules that says, “I find it kind of funny/I find it kind of sad/The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had.” Sorry warps these depressive lyrics and changes them to sound more like their confident selves by saying, “I’m feeling kinda crazy/I’m feeling kinda mad/The dreams in which we’re famous are the best I’ve ever had.”
Following “Right Round The Clock,” “In Unison” is on another plane. It is more stripped down and darkly beautiful. There is a great beat that hits on the first verse that leads to a pleasingly simple chord progression. Then, “Snakes” has a background instrumental which perfectly backs Lorenz’s voice.
Sorry’s post-punk sound shines bright in “Starstruck.” The intro is reminiscent of Shopping, a post-punk band from the U.K. The distorted background gives listeners a spiral-like sensation that Lorenz provides slight reprieves from when she utters the word, “ugh.” “Starstruck’s” transition from its dark to dreamy and slightly glitzy sequences can be representative of the song’s title. Being starstruck can feel good at first, but take on a darker meaning later on.
“Rosie” offers a calm and meaningful shift from “Starstruck,” but is followed by “Perfect,” which brings an alt-rock tone to the album. I was enjoyably lost in both choruses.
Sorry’s lyricism is shown off in “As The Sun Sets.” The band paints a perfect story of a person yearning for love when Lorenz sings, “I guess that I’m glad that you’re both in my past/but that thought doesn’t last/and I cry crystallized tears/and I wanna be blind/so I stare up to the sky/and flood myself in the light.” They also channel Louis Armstrong’s song, “What a Wonderful World.” However, Sorry makes singing, “then I think to myself/what a wonderful world,” sound eerie, even though they are trying to create a feeling of hopefulness in a sad circumstance.
Exhibiting gothic rock sounds, “Wolf” brings listeners into a dark fairytale-like world. “Wolf” is also a great example of how well Lorenz and O’Bryen create a dialect with each other. Constantly joining and separating vocally throughout the song, Lorenz helms the outro.
One of the most important songs on the album is “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” because it explains the meaning of 925 to listeners. Lorenz takes on the persona of a rock ‘n’ roll star and says, “you’re pure silver/925/I’d do anything just to feel alive/with you.” In an interview with Under The Radar, Lorenz said, their album title, 925, is “actually about sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver.”
“Heather” and “More” are short and completely different from each other. “Heather” is essentially a love song that is quiet and soothing, whereas “More” feels grimy and relies heavily on Sorry’s drummer’s interactions with its guitarists.
If one thought the surprising genre and sound changes throughout the album were done, they would be wrong. “Ode To Boy” introduces a children’s choir. There are no crazy instrumentals, but there are high-pitched sounds that delicately back up the vocals.
The last song on the album is “Lies (Refix).” It is a more experimental version of Sorry’s song, “Lies,” that they released in 2017. It has a perfectly suited chorus that brings me to think about why I was re-listening to 925. As if they could have predicted my exact mood last week, Lorenz and O’Bryen join together to sing, “these days I just can’t keep it together/and I feel like I’m lighter than a feather/and life feels like it’s just based on weather.”
Listeners should prepare to set aside the 43 minutes that it takes to get through 925, because each minute is worth it.
Though their tour was postponed, Sorry has rescheduled it for May 2021 in the U.K. Hopefully, they will be able to safely put on shows by then.
Featured Image by Diamond Pedroza