PEI’s latest export: Sorrey, not sorry

You probably haven’t had a chance to see dreamy, smooth indie-pop band Sorrey unless you live on PEI.

“We’ve been offered shows and we have to turn them all down,” says Emilee Sorrey, the band’s leader (singer, songwriter, guitar-player, namesake). Juggling bandmates with multiple gigs comes with the territory for Sorrey; the band’s composed of some of the best musicians in town, including Colin Buchanan (Paper Lions). Guitarist Andrew Murray is booked solid, playing in two shows a day, six days a week all summer in Anne and Gilbert: The Musical.

Buchanan and Sorrey connected to produce a demo with a Music PEI grant, but once they got going together at his Hill Sound Studio in Charlottetown,  everything clicked. They switched gears and jumped into making the Thick as Thieves, the groups debut EP coming out July 25.

From there, Buchanan rounded up the rest of the crew including Murray, Willow Bell (Whaleskin) on keys and Thayne Campbell on drums.

“It blew my mind because I’d be too scared to ask these people and I look up to them so much,” says Sorrey.

Sorrey’s first band was indie-pop band Colour Code. The band’s Houle EP was a promising start, winning Music PEI’s New Artist of the Year award in 2014, but things fizzled out and everyone moved on or moved away.

“I think it was better I got some of the kinks worked out,” says Sorrey. “Looking back I’m horrified at some of the stupid things we’d do.”

Now her (last) name’s out front and she has a line up she calls “a dream come true.” She wanted to use her name to allow the project to grow with her going forward, but putting your full name on a bill often gets people jumping to conclusions about your sound, especially as a woman. “You kind of get pigeon-holed as a singer-songwriter if you go by your own name,” says Sorrey. It helps her last name is on-trend as a band name with words spelled slightly differently for SEO assistance (example: Alvvays, a band also featuring Islanders).

The single, “Washington”, shows off Sorrey’s raw lyrics:

Look back at the years we spent so close
No questions now we were in love
I don’t know how we ever got so far from where we started

The dreamy sound the band sticks to throughout the EP, also incorporates grounding guitar riffs, analog synths, and playful midi tracks. This is an album for a sunny porch sit or a hammock swing after one or two too many. It’ll set your own memory wandering.

For now, Sorrey is looking to the future, and traveling off the island. After their release show at Baba’s in Charlottetown (July 25) they’ll make the drive to Halifax later this summer. Then they’ll start looking toward the 2016 summer festival circuit.

“As long as the momentum is there and I’m enjoying it I want to keep going.”

Photo: Sean Berrigan