Asha and Louis on the safari of sounds that make up their debut album
Matty Pywell
12:00 25th March 2020

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It’s as useful trying to pin Sorry to one genre as it is to try and catch the wind. Their sound is eclectic, their influences vast, and their visuals are ever-changing in style. We recently spoke with Asha and Louis from the band to discuss home comforts, famous snakes and the makings of their debut album 925.

One of the most common misconceptions around the band relates to their geography, being grouped as a South London band despite being from the northern part of the city. Not something that bothers the band however, as their connections with Shame and HMLTD make the south a welcome second home. “It’s good to be associated with people, they’re all our friends and they’re all doing well so it’s really nice. Sometimes it’s annoying to be put in the same group because people think you make the same music and stuff. But I don’t think it’s detrimental”. 

Listening to Sorry’s discography is to hear a safari of different sounds, as eye catching as the next. One area might contain the grumbled discontent of punk and rock, whilst if you look close enough you can catch a flash of hip-hop and jazz. Grouping them into a single genre is a fool’s errand, “It’s just a bit annoying to be called post punk or grunge because I don’t think we are that”, on the tag of being indie Asha notes, “I don’t really mind to be honest, it’s just a genre. Hopefully once the album’s out and we keep putting music out, people will kind of understand a bit more. I think it’s just a way to describe something in the beginning”.

Sorry have not charged headfirst into making an album, instead preferring to be more spontaneous with their releases, they do still believe in the traditional album format, however. “We did mixtapes because we had lots of music and demos that we wanted to put out. But we definitely wanted to do an album where it’s more of a finished, concise thing that we spent a lot of time on”. 

The band are perfectly comfortable recording at home, most of their demos were recorded live but the build-up to 925 had the band emerge reluctantly into the new habitat of the recording studio. “We started about three quarters maybe a bit more with me and Ash at home just starting as a demo. And then we’d take it to the studio with James and make it a bit more polished,” explains Louis. 

The James they refer to is James Dring. Who in his time as a producer has worked with an impressive array of alternative artists from Self Esteem to Nilüfer Yanya and Gorillaz. Sorry first worked with him for the recording of ‘Starstruck’ and decided to continue that relationship for the album. Louis summarised Sorry’s approach to the recording process on the new album, “it definitely took some time to adapt (to the studio environment) but rather than adapt (fully) to it we kind of found a middle ground there. We could still do the demos and start like that, then take it to the studio. As a best of both worlds in a way”.

The way a Sorry track is arranged is with a sense of secrecy, each listen to one of their songs appears to reveal something different, a different texture, a hidden sample much like listening to one of their stated influences and labelmate (Sandy) Alex G. These intricacies are subtle ways to draw in repeat listens, like replaying an old video game and spotting a new detail that changes or enhances your perception. “We get quite attached to the kind of small sounds and they end up making the songs, like taking it much further”.

Creativity is poured into every aspect of Sorry as a band, their music videos are no different. Each of their previous singles have come with a complimenting visual. From running around as obnoxious caricatures on ‘Jealous Guy’ to following the adventures of a washed-up rock star on British backstreets for ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’. It almost feels like the band have started their own anthology series, their latest video forSnakes’ even had a famous guest in the form of Bertha the snake.

“She came to a couple of gigs, she and her friends”, jokes Louis when quizzed on how they met. “She’s actually a famous snake she’s in music videos all the time I think. The guy said to us that the week before she’d been on a music video for Tinie Tempah. So I guess she’s a famous snake”. Seeing Bertha invade the band’s personal space might make some feel a little nauseous, Asha told us that the video was inspired by a story where a snake owner thought their pet was in love because it slept next to them, but in actual fact the snake was measuring up whether or not it could eat them.

A lot of their lyrics just as their visuals are based on characters, we wondered whether or not these characters were based on real people, “loosely based but sometimes they’re just a merge of someone and your perception of them”. They have a habit of creating characters who seem equally fictitious yet could very easily be real, there’s the lust of fandom and fan culture on ‘Starstruck' or the desperation of addiction running throughout ‘More’ where these characters easily manifest within your head. 

We’ll hope to hear more of them on the band’s upcoming debut album 925 released on 27 March 2020. Read our review of the record here

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Photo: Sam Hiscox