Shaking off the familiarity of their debut album 925, released last year to wide acclaim, London’s Sorry take their trademark twisted indie-rock sound to new, disjointed extremes on EP Twixtustwain.
While 925 was essentially a grungy pop record marked by its witty lyricism, catchy riffs, and dark, lethargic atmosphere, Twixtustwain is an audible leap into the left field for cult favourites Sorry. Gone are any remnants of conventionality or the need to conform to any particular genre: this EP is truly experimental, with the band harnessing their idiosyncrasies to create a captivatingly off-kilter and futuristic collection of tracks.
Like a malfunctioning robot, Twixtustwain opens to a collection of isolated chirps and beats courtesy of ‘Don’t Be Scared’. Louis O’Bryen takes the lead on vocals on this track, with Asha Lorenz joining in partway through. It is still characteristically Sorry: both singers’ voices overlap at various points in an apathetic mumble, and the same thumping beat drives throughout. But it is also noticeably starker and more electronic than much of their previous material — a development that extends across all five songs on this EP.
Sorry embrace dissonance on the apocalyptic ‘Things To Hold Onto’, returning to a sound slightly more reminiscent of 925. Featuring harsh screeches and distorted vocals, this song almost verges into hyperpop territory; perhaps unsurprising when you learn that Sorry have cited Arca as a key influence in the making of this EP. The moody ‘Separate’ follows, Lorenz’s super-cool vocals reiterating the same phrases over and over to the backdrop of fuzzy basslines and lurching, paired-back rhythms punctuated by gunshots. ‘Things To Hold Onto’ sees Sorry fully explore their potential to produce electronic music, reminding listeners that they are far more than a guitar band (a label that they have always tried so hard to escape).
Twixtustwain pushes on, slipping seamlessly into the more assertive and fast-paced ‘Cigarette’. With the air of a slightly tilted Charli XCX song, ‘Cigarette’ is arguably one of Sorry’s coolest tracks to date. It’s completely fresh, Lorenz’s understated vocals complemented by incessant drums to create just over two minutes of pure, pulsating energy. Sorry take a breather on closing track ‘Favourite’, reintroducing guitar and returning to a more melodic, tender sound. “Am I your favourite song?” Lorenz asks, before the song dissolves into eventual silence.
This body of work is a bold and decisive move away from 925, and it will no doubt divide some listeners with its open discordance and the absence of guitars. But Twixtustwain proves Sorry’s ingenuity. Their ability to combine the simplest of textures and come up with something totally unparalleled is a skill that many bands can only dream of possessing.
Twixtustwain by Sorry is out now via Domino, and you can listen to it here