Still refusing to be tied down
Miles Cooke
22:00 6th October 2022

More about:

Music journalists love to put things in boxes, which makes reviewing the unapologetically diverse Sorry seem a daunting task. 2020’s 925 took a whirlwind of differing influences, ranging from post punk to jazz to pure pop, and married them with an irreverent sense of humour that saw them cut, paste, pastiche and subvert other artists to hilarious effect, filling lyric sheets with innuendo and sardonic deprecation as they went.

This sense of levity is dialled back on new album Anywhere But Here, in favour of more genuine, visceral emotion. The metamorphic chaos is still there, but now with a bit more cohesion and maturity as fitting for the ostensibly difficult second album.

The band, centred around private school chums (no one’s perfect) Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, make their statement of intent immediately with opener Let The Lights On. It’s an urgent and cathartic breakup tune that builds to a euphoric chorus. It’s obviously the end of the line for the relationship concerned, but a cracker of a start to an album filled with heartbreak.

Filled to burst even - Anywhere But Here is pure, moreish misery for most of its 40 minute or so runtime. The volatile mood-state of depression is captured at its extremes of anger and agony. Key To The City is the former, a fuck-you number with undertones of equal parts revulsion and envy that imagines the narrator’s ex-lover doing the dirty with someone new. I Miss The Fool meanwhile contrasts spindly guitars and layered vocals with a tale of weakness and longing. A mini-breakdown towards the end threatens to go all OK Computer on us, before an operatic sample plays over the close. Step is thematically similar, with both songs sharing the idea that a relationship can live and die in song. 

The jaunty carnival energy of Willow Tree should be at odds with the rest of the album but is a needed palette cleanser amongst the despair. There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved also has a somewhat lighter, contemplative tone to it, but I wouldn’t go as far to call it cheery. It inches towards progress, but in the end always returns to thoughts of the estranged lover.

Whilst Lorenz’s vocals are certainly the album’s centrepiece with regards to its storytelling, O’Bryen’s voice is frequently a dynamic complement. Duties are shared on Tell Me, Sorry’s subversive take on every breakup album’s obligatory heterosexual one-two, in which both of their respective ire seems directed at the same individual. In the same vein the duo’s vocals bleed into one another on Screaming In The Rain until they’re aching in unison. There’s a strong trip-hop influence no doubt in part down to the magic touch of the producer, Portishead’s Jay Utley. 

Anywhere But Here is impressive because it can extract such brilliance from anguish. If you weren’t taking Sorry too seriously off the back of 925, you will be now.

Best Track: 'Let The Lights On'

Add it to...: Your Sunglasses at the fuuneral playlist

Anywhere But Here is out now

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.

More about:

Photo: -