Who are Sorry? A gang of fools consisting of Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, Campbell Baum, Marco Pini and Lincoln Barrett. They have been making music together since their teens, have released one acclaimed album, a batch of singles and a series of videos co-directed by their songwriter and vocalist, Asha and her best friend Flo Webb (FLASHA Prod). Emerging from Brixton’s Windmill scene, where they played alongside Shame, Goat Girl and Black Midi, Sorry have created their own distinctive musical world – one that draws together a shared passion for lo-fi sounds of grunge, trap, and shoegaze.
Sorry are a band with a devoted following on both sides of the Atlantic. Their 2018 single ‘Starstruck’, with its hook of a blocked throat clearing itself, has over 7 million plays on Spotify. The jittery ‘Cigarette Packet’ was arguably one of the best singles of 2021, with a video featuring an array of smokers with varying degrees of bad teeth. It’s a simple visual device, elegantly executed.
Asha and Louis first started experimenting with songs at school in 2015, where they recorded soundscapes and beats in their North London bedrooms, uploading them in a battle to achieve the most plays. It started out as a game between the two. ‘You’d be crying on Soundcloud at midnight when you should be sleeping, then you find this perfect beat,’ Asha recalls of that time. ‘I still take pride in it.’ Home Demo/ns Vol. I + II are the band’s early mixtapes and provide a snapshot of deep cuts from the band’s beloved, genre-defying catalogue to date.
Having just returned from a US tour with Sleaford Mods, Louis recalls the band’s last aborted mission to the States. Sorry were due to play in New York just before the pandemic took hold to celebrate the launch of 925. After the opening show, the tour was cancelled. If New York was dystopian when they arrived, it became even more so in the days before they returned home. ‘It’s where every end of the world movie is set,’ he says. ‘Overnight, we saw the streets go from being bustling and intense to walking around a desolate Manhattan. I had never experienced anything like that, it was completely new.’ It is this newness that sits at the heart of Sorry’s songs – of what it means to be young and upended in the 2020s, with all the challenges and ingenuity that life in the metropolis brings.