Anywhere But Here

Dec 08, 2022
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By Michelle Dalarossa

It’s ironic that Sorry’s sophomore album, Anywhere But Here, opens with the words “I love you”—it’s one of the few moments when the North London outfit lifts the veil of casual pessimism that runs through the album, even if they do so with an almost cartoonish sense of earnestness. It’s also a fitting example of the band’s penchant for caprice and self-aware sardonicism, qualities found in their 2020 debut, 925, as well as their latest album.

This tendency to shape-shift in both structure and sound emerges largely from Sorry’s core duo, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen; the longtime friends both share songwriting and vocalist credits for most, if not all, of the band’s discography, although they enlisted the help of Portishead’s Adrian Utley to produce Anywhere But Here. The result of this collaboration is offbeat, murky indie-rock that flits between shadow and light, channeling youthful cynicism and inertia into complex compositions and cryptic lyricism.

Take “Tell Me,” the second track on the album. For a minute, only the sound of a single guitar and the melancholy voice of O’Bryen—“There she goes/The life I knew so well”—are heard. But as the song progresses, it gains a brittle tension, cycling through different melodies until it ends in a controlled frenzy of feedback, the polar opposite of its lonely intro. “Baltimore,” too, begins with a waiting sense of gloomy stillness, only to change time signature with the words “Now I don’t feel myself/But you never feel yourself” and combust in an atonal burst of an ending.

Sonically, this atonality litters the inventive compositions of the album, whether it’s Lorenz’s deliberately flat voice or layered and discordant guitar licks. It’s not unpleasant so much as curious, lending songs like “Willow Tree” or “Quit While You’re Ahead” a moody, almost clownish slant. And it’s what gives tracks with more typical, upbeat indie-pop sounds like “There’s So Many People That Want To Be Loved” or “Step” an unexpected and grungy flavor.

For a record that’s in constant flux, there’s a surprising consistency to the off-kilter soundscapes of Anywhere But Here that make the sounds of Sorry instantly recognizable and wholly unique. To some, their experimentalism may verge on grating and their pessimism may become tired, but Sorry’s sophomore effort proves that the band’s got dynamism and ambition, and plenty of it. (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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