London band Sorry have just released their second visual mixtape. It’s appropriately called Home Demo/ns Vol II, and it’s the latest step from a project built up around two best friends, Louis o’Bryen and Asha Lorenz. The band, now expanded to include Lincoln Barrett and Campbell Baum on drums and bass, continues to grow not only in size, but also in reach. You can watch the 23-minute-ish video below, and beneath that there’s a link to the download of the album. You should get involved in that action. But let’s have a chat first.
This collection captures, perfectly, the attitude of a band determined to cut their own shapes from a variety of media. The DIY approach to visual and audio elements lend to the balance of content and form. In the mix, mainly populated by single-word song titles, the subject-matter is kept at human scale. Personal stories unfold against universal issues.
Sounds and images are both grainy, dreamlike, a little glitchy. Progress is a little hazy. The first-person narrative gets handled through an electronically misty filter. The urgency of issues is regarded above the importance of perfection and polish. The results are refreshing – an antidote to the mainstream. Sorry are not a band stood on the outside looking in. They stand on the outside and look further out. This is how they make good art.
As with most DIY bands the level of self-awareness in Sorry is high. Subjects bounce off themselves. Imagine looking at the body of your lover in a chamber of dirty mirrors. That’s the effect of listening to this mixtape. However, Sorry avoid the usual pitfalls of personal or interpersonal examination. “I pick my battles well, that’s what you don’t know” – the line from “Battles” hangs in the air like a manifesto.
Sorry know themselves. Better than anyone they have analyzed their limits and their strengths. For all the self-reflection there are genuine lessons being learned – this isn’t the usual narcissistic stuff. This is DIY but it’s next-level fried gold.
The visual aspect of the piece is every bit as enthralling as the audio. Sometimes literal depictions of song titles are acted out. Watch out for the recurring cowboy hat that appears in “Western” and then elsewhere. At other times the blend of fonts (between tracks) and filters (across tracks) present another world that sits somehow inside this world, but is also unreachable. Sorry manage to capture the elements of memories and dreams in that half-light of being half-awake / half-asleep. One on hand the domestic scenes, the internal and external shots feel quasi-domestic, or quasi-pedestrian. On the other hand it’s exactly this approach to the visual stuff that achieves magic.
The curse of many young bands emerging from London (or anywhere) is to be named ‘the next big thing’. The overblown encouragement from well-intentioned cultural commentators can force an issue that bands would never invite. Clearly, Sorry are an ambitious band with the kind of creative focus to make what they want, but it doesn’t seem like ‘being big’ is a concern, or an awareness. The vitality of process, the resulting expression of their now, and the unforced, unique results – all appear to be enough of a reward for now. Long may Sorry remain unpolished, and unpolluted by expectation.
Home Demo/ns Vol II is the perfect execution of a band, vital in their own moment, and that’s more than good enough.
HURRY – LISTEN – SORRY
PHOTOGRAPH BY HOLLY WHITAKER