Getting To Know... Sorry Darling

After releasing their much-loved debut EP 'See This Through' earlier this year, Brooklyn-based outfit Sorry Darling continue the support for their initial collection with the video for its vibrant standout offering 'Language Of Touch.

Honing more of that rich and heartfelt indie-rock appeal they have quickly earned a reputation for, 'Language Of Touch' is a warm and inviting return to form for the four-piece. Oozing with this bold and euphoric energy from start to finish, they are certainly ones to keep a firm eye on for the months ahead as well.

So with the new video available to stream now, we sat down with them to find out more about their origins and what has been inspiring them most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

Steve - Probably piano? My grandfather had one in his den and I used to noodle on it a lot or watch him play jazz on it when I was really small. The first instrument I actually tried to play in school was the Viola, however. Eeeeeeesh.

Dan - when I was 10 or so my dad bought a set of V-drums, electronic drums that my mom couldn’t veto for being too loud in the house. I pretty immediately realised that it made me so much happier than my weekly piano lessons.

Liz - A core memory for me is opening the case of my rental flute in 4th grade on the stage of my elementary school all-purpose room. There were red-blue stage lights that reflected off the shiny metal; I was smitten. While flute wasn’t actually all that much of a passion in the long run I do still have that flute and I played it through high school (marching band, baby!)

Jackie - guitar was the first thing that stuck. I learned a Beatles tune on a Stratocaster when I was 7 and have been hooked on guitars (and later basses) ever since.

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

Steve - It took me a while to come around to rock, really. My parents loved 60s music and guitar stuff and I had a bratty period where I was more into film and animation soundtracks and classical music. Stuff like the Amadeus and Star Wars soundtracks, and of course Songs in the Key of Springfield from the Simpsons! I came around to punk eventually, though…

Dan - My heart has lived in the alternative rock sphere for as long as I can remember, but lots of folk influences have creeped in as well as I’ve grown. As the baby of the band, I was still in high school when Mumford’s first album blew up.

Liz - As a wee one I loved all the albums in the backroom CD tower of my mom’s store and the jukebox of the tavern we frequented (only child of a single mom life) - Van Morrison, James Taylor, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Billy Joel, Alanis Morissette…

Jackie - this is tough to answer because I’ve always liked a ton of different stuff, but if we’re talking high school, then I was very much into bands like Metallica, Opeth and Led Zeppelin. Anything fast and heavy incredible guitar leads.

What was the first album you remember owning?

Steve - The first album I went out of my way to buy was the self-titled All American Rejects album. I saw those dreamy boys in their ripped jeans and Converse All-Stars stomping in a garage in the ‘Swing Swing’ video and I had to have it. I wore that thing out in my discman on the bus to school not long after!

Dan - The first album that was mine (not belonging to the whole family) was Elephant by the white stripes. Probably honestly a big influence on me, musically and also aesthetically - we talked about that album cover a lot when planning our own cover shoot.

Liz - Jagged. Little. Pill. (My mom already had it but I wanted my own copy.)

Jackie - The first CD I bought was Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

Steve - Material Girl by Madonna. There’s so many but I would love to write an unfuckwithable pop totem like that song that just kind of exists outside of time and space.

Liz - God I have so many answers to this question, it’s not the “one” it’s the “long list of songs so good they make me mad”. The most recent song I remember hitting in that way is “Best Left” by The Beths.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Steve - I always try to start with the voice. I’m not necessarily a lyric-focused person but I think vocal melodies and hooks are really important to any pop-leaning music and I hum things to myself until something sticks. I find when I do that, the guitar things I write to respond to it are generally more interesting than vice versa because I have to compellingly accompany whatever I came up with. Sometimes I’ll land on a hooky guitar part that I’ll love but unless there’s a song that immediately springs from it then I treat it with suspicion until one does.

Liz - I almost always start with words. I will sometimes get a random word or phrase in my head and then I’ll free-associate, just write without looking back until I hit a wall. Then I read it again and either immediately see where it’s going and try to shape it, or if I don’t see it yet I’ll just stop there. The other option is saying, “hey, I want to work on a song” without the spark of inspiration so that’s when I go back through the archives of random things I free-associated another time and often it’s like I pick up the trail from there… I don’t usually even remember writing the things I discover so it’s always a fun surprise to be like “damn, I wrote that?!” (impressed tone) or “damn, I wrote that?!” (mortified tone).

Jackie - I think about someone who truly hurt me and I write an incredibly rude bass line about them.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

Steve - The Jam. Always and forever. It’s incredibly lonely being an American Jam fan but Paul Weller really was the answer to my dreams when it comes to the total package as an artist and songwriter. Otherwise, I’ve been spinning Ted Leo, Mott the Hoople, Strange Neighbors (from NYC!), and AC/DC lately.

Liz - It’s an eclectic mix of recent and past, mega-popular and local heroes. Heart, Strange Neighbors, MUNA, Hoorsees, Chappell Roan, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Beths, Sailor Boyfriend, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell, Taylor Swift, and always and forever the 2001 Josie and the Pussycats Soundtrack.

Jackie - lately an odd mix…Maggie Rogers, The Kills, Solange, The Pet Shop Boys, HAIM, Rubblebucket, Mac Miller, Jay Som, MF Doom, Mariah Carey and lots of others, of course.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

Steve - The stock answer for this band is ‘The Beths’ because they are the only band we all agree on and it seems vaguely attainable even if only slightly so. Otherwise, high on my list would be Deep Sea Diver or The Pretenders.

Dan - Definitely second The Beths.

Liz - Ha! Before I even read Steve and Dan’s answer I was gonna say “definitely The Beths” and something tells me Jackie will say the same…

Jackie - it’s true. I feel the same way! The Beths.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

Steve - Seeing a song come to life. I love performing, I love recording, and I love the camaraderie of bands, but I think seeing a creation that lived in your head take on its own life in the world and reach other people is the most magical thing ever. I’m not a religious person at all, but if there’s anything remotely supernatural in the universe that I believe in that gives us our souls, it’s music.

Liz - So I almost hesitate to say this because I don’t think people necessarily know about this and I LOVE this little personal in that we have to get to know our listener base, but… if you create a public playlist on Spotify, the artist can see the title of the playlist they’ve been added to. Someone recently created a playlist called “kill your vocal chords” with our song “Waking Up”, and it occurred to me that it probably means that somebody somewhere is listening because they want to sing along with me. I hope they’re not killing their vocal cords for real but just joining in with me doing truly THE most rewarding part of being a musician: good old emotional catharsis.

Jackie - it’s just such a privilege to get to participate in art in any capacity, but I think the collaborative process of playing in a band is truly unique.

And what is the most frustrating part?

Steve - Professionally, I’d say cutting through the white noise of every other person making music in the world so that you reach an audience. I think every artist deserves to have one, but the clamouring of the ‘Attention Economy’ is gross and 90% of your time is spent on things that aren’t making art and having a meaningful conversation with listeners. Personally I kind of fall on the same side – I don’t really enjoy all of the ‘non musical’ aspects of making music and sometimes it’s a struggle for me to generate enthusiasm for them.

Liz - Agreed. Forget us, just looking around at our community there are so many incredible musicians who may never get the adoration and recognition they deserve and I hate that, even though I know that’s not why we do this.

Jackie - it’s definitely hard to see musicians who are incredible not get the recognition they deserve.

And what is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

Steve - Honestly my inclination is to turn this question on its head a bit. My old band once opened for another band that were big local heroes of mine for a record release show. I had admired them for years and cajoled them into reuniting to play this show with us after a few years out of action. Seeing them again was such an incredible feeling, but that quickly soured once we ourselves started to play. They were super inattentive during our set and once we were done, the frontman – who I had modelled myself after in terms of energy and songwriting – stumbled up drunk to the stage after barely watching us and slurred “Be Cooler.” to us before sauntering off into the night. This was a really crushing moment initially, but after some thought I realised that I didn’t need to impress this guy or anyone else in the world – I just needed to impress myself. That moment firmed a commitment to my own artistry and vision – or the shared vision I have with my bandmates – and I haven’t let anyone intimidate me on that front ever since.

Liz - Trust the mic.


Sorry Darling's new single 'Language Of Touch' is out now. Watch the new video for it in the player below.