Anywhere but Here

Sorry

Anywhere but Here

When it came to making their second album, Anywhere but Here, Sorry wanted to home in on the tricks they’d learned while touring their 2020 debut, 925. Live, the songs from that record had been pulled in exciting new directions, and the five-piece led by North Londoners Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen wanted to make sure their new material was approached with a similar sense of possibility. “We did the first album more in the studio, and then, when we played it live, it sounded way bigger, and we were like, ‘It’s annoying. We didn’t capture the new bits from playing live,’” Lorenz tells Apple Music. “That’s where this record was born: We wanted to make sure we got everything out of the song.” It’s a process that lends Anywhere but Here its sense of exploration, each song feeling part of the same piece while traversing different genres. To that end, the album takes in fuzzy ’90s rock, minor-chord orchestral folk, indie-disco darkness, and twisted ballads, all unified by the recurring themes of love and loss. “It’s a lot about learning to let go of things and trying to see the humor in sad things,” says Lorenz. “It’s kind of a second coming-of-age.” Here, Lorenz and O’Bryen take us through it, track by track. “Let the Lights On” Louis O’Bryen: “This was probably the last song we wrote for the album. We knew that the album needed a bit more energy in places, so we went into it with that in mind. It made sense to put at the start because it’s like opening credits for the album.” Asha Lorenz: “It feels a bit separate from the rest of the record, so it was nice to have that. And it starts the record with ‘I love you,’ so it’s kind of funny.” “Tell Me” LO’B: “This is a song that me and Ash wrote the parts for separately. It was two songs originally, and we liked sections of each of those songs, and the lyrics of those two songs worked well together, so we merged them together and played it with the band loads. It’s about reflecting on a relationship or something that has impacted you. I see it like when you think back on the more fiery aspects of a relationship, maybe not toxic but maybe just that kind of side of things. It’s reflecting on that stuff.” “Key to the City” AL: “Louis had a guitar riff that was the verse. He played it, and then all the lyrics just flew out. We demoed it, and then we knew that we wanted to put it on the album. It’s a sad, fuck-you kind of song.” “Willow Tree” AL: “This is more like a lullaby. It started with a guitar riff, and then me and Louis demoed it but wanted it to sound more like a Kinks-y kind of song. We’d written all the parts before, and then we got the band to play it, and it took on a new life. I imagine it as a little character on the flute or something. This one has a character inside of it.” LO’B: “We wanted the album to ebb and flow and make sure that it went on the right journey and space, the light and darkness out in a good balance—that was important to us.” “There’s So Many People That Want to Be Loved” AL: “This was a song I had lyrics for before, and then me and Louis did a demo of it that was really stripped back, just guitars and vocals. But then, when we brought it to the band, we wanted it to be like ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed, and it’s also inspired by the Daniel Johnston song ‘True Love Will Find You in the End.’ We wanted it to be a good balance of humor and not giving up—it’s sad but also that you can see yourself in all the people in the choruses. We added some strings and stuff at the end that made it a bit cooler. We listened to a lot of David Bowie and tried to incorporate a lot of shit from that as well.” “I Miss the Fool” AL: “We demoed this around the same time that we did ‘There’s So Many People…’—they were kind of written together. Louis added some nice string bits in the chorus, and we built it up from the main lyric, and then they added some cool stuff, like the opera sample bits. It was written in a similar style to how we wrote songs on the first album, in terms of the process.” “Step” LO’B: “We wrote this in the studio that [record label] Domino have in Wandsworth. Ash was playing drums, and we were just jamming out, and Campbell [Baum, bassist] came and played saxophone. We went back and forth with this song, but I think something about it just stuck with us. We’d go back and listen to it, and it sounded like it had to be on the album. We fell in and out of love with it a bit, but then, in the end, it became an important song for the album.” “Closer” AL: “This was written around the same time as ‘Step.’ It’s a bit more grunge-y, a more indie kind of vibe. We wanted to have lots of different types of songs on the album, and we picked the genre that we thought would be the best vehicle for the song to drive.’” LO’B: “We didn’t take playing live that seriously at the start. It was secondary to recording. But now, we see them as both as important as each other—and that really influenced parts of the album.” “Baltimore” AL: “We started this one in the Wandsworth studio. We had a live take, but we hadn’t really edited it, and then we brought it to James Dring, who we produced the last record with, because it felt like we needed a bit more time on it. We organized all the guitars at the end and added a few new guitar bits and some synths and organized it so that it kind of went on a proper trip.” “Hem of the Fray” AL: “This was written around the vocals and the riff, but then, when he brought it to the band, it took on a new vibe. Then Louis added some sample bits that sound quite dark and Underworld-y. It’s got a cool atmosphere to it, and I think it’s captured quite well by Ali [Chant, producer].” “Quit While You’re Ahead” AL: “This was written in the first bit of the lockdown. I went to Louis’ house to stay there for a week, and we wrote this. It was kind of a dark time, but I was making it a bit comedic using the catchphrase of the title. It’s kind of a sad song and taking the piss out of some catchphrases. It’s just funny. You can’t really quit while you’re ahead when you’re ahead, because you’re ahead.” “Screaming in the Rain” LO’B: “This was one that me and Ash wrote apart and then worked together on it, and it all worked really well together. This is one of the songs that we’re still trying to nail, I think. In my mind, this song has loads of different characters which it could be. The one on the album, the character is a bit sad, and then the character that I think we’ll do for the next one is a bit happier, but more of an alien or something.” “Again” AL: “We really like the Portishead track ‘The Rip,’ the way it holds onto that note and it’s like a wave that doesn’t stop. We wanted a track to hold onto a different note—the idea of holding onto the note and you’re wanting it to change, but it doesn’t really change. I think that’s a lot of what the album was about: different forms of repetition but not thinking, at the time, that you’re getting a different outcome. But then you are, and time is moving forward, and we just have to go through these things in life. It’s just a shedding of the skin. We put it at the end because it sheds the whole skin of the album, and I’m sure all these things will happen again, but with different lights on them.”

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