The downer-pop outfit amp up the creepy in the video premiere for ‘Wished’
Is it just us, or has London’s indie scene drifted into the arena of the unwell just lately? Not that this should be taken as a sign of creative decline – quite the opposite, in fact. Taking their cues from downer-pop prophets like King Krule and Fat White Family, bands such as Shame, Goat Girl and Sorry have risen like a creeping dose of the fear from the capital this past couple of years.
Take the new video from Sorry, the sickly brainchild of schoolmates Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen. “It’s like an anxiety dream,” says Lorenz of the India Lee-directed clip for “Wished”, the band’s queasy debut single for Domino. “It’s a video of this guy going about his day shot from his point of view; you don’t know what he’s done but he goes to different places and people start giving him dirty looks, and then at the end of the day these people are all in his room. You can’t really tell if it’s real or in his head.”
It’s a pitch-perfect conceit for the band, a four-piece completed by Campbell Baum on bass and Lincoln Barrett on drums. Sorry thrive on precisely this sort of bad karmic juju, with a mesmerising sound on nodding terms with the bare-bones angst of Cat Power and the deconstructed pop of Micachu and Dean Blunt, both confirmed influences. “We’re quite picky about how we like things to sound,” says O’Bryen, a tracksuited figure who seems to be channelling Robbie Williams circa 1996, on shitter drugs. “I like dissonance,” says Lorenz, elaborating. “I like when things sound dissonant but they actually work, when they have proper hooks and everything. That’s what sounds good to my ears.”
Lorenz and O’Bryen make for an eye-catching pair outside a cafe in London’s legal district, O’Bryen with his bleached hair and three-stripe uniform, Lorenz all at sea in a giant red puffa jacket. The pair first made waves as Fish a couple of years back, but had to change their name after former Marillion frontman Fish got in touch to voice his displeasure. Lorenz says she’d never heard of the prog-rock veteran before, though she now thinks she may have seen him on an episode of Pointless. “His fans would tweet us telling us ‘You’re not the real Fish,’” says O’Bryen. “One of his fans actually came to a show, thinking Fish was going to be there.” Did he enjoy it? “He did actually, yeah.”
Finally landing on the name Sorry after spotting a sign in a pub (“It said, ‘Sorry, toilets out of order’ – the ‘sorry’ was in double-quote marks”), the group established their unclean sound with a pair of releases, “Drag King” and “Prickz”. (“If I was a boy, you could beat me black and blue… if I was a boy, I could get closer to you,” Lorenz drawls on the former track, a soupy mess of discordant guitars and tweaked vocals like Sonic Youth at their most evil. They followed that with Home Demo(n)s, a half-hour ‘visual mixtape’ showcasing director Lorenz’s flair for the uncanny (check the topless dancing man on standout “What You Pay”).
How to account for all this weirdness? The band won’t say, though O’Bryen does go as far as to claim that Lorenz is the “creepy one” of the group – and Lorenz doesn’t disagree. “Though I can get pretty creepy too.”
“Wished” b/w “Lies” is out December 15 via Domino