Through a mixed bag of sonic revelry, Sorority are bound only by one notion: love.
Words by Hannah Hayden.
Our collective appetite was already whet by duo Max and Elliott Batten’s production on Sippy Cup for their good friends Horsey back in November 2020. Now we can sufficiently be sated: the brothers’ band, Sorority, have released the five track EP, Legalise Love, and it is certainly a very convincing plea.
The EP is a testament to the idea that love is not bound by genre, and influences range from Captain Beefheart to Ween to The Beatles, to name just a few. Two Timing, the first track of the EP, is an irreverent opening which hearkens to 70s funk, includes a sample of a woman crying, and is notable for its use of psychedelic synths. Lyrics such as “you’re not living in paradise, ‘cause I’ve been two-timing/ I’ve been lying, I’m never changing,” are sung with a tone of cool deliberation, and the mention of “Delia, Ophelia, and Julia, and Celia..” can’t help but make one giggle.
The songs on this EP are bound by love, which is always professed in a sincere and unabashed way: just take a peep at the album artwork, on which a shadowy, heart-headed man is pictured in a cage. That Feeling’s Gone, the second track of the album, delivers a montage of feelings at a strange moment in a relationship. It is comprised of longing, monologue-type segments which seem to come straight out of a musical theatre moment of epiphany. Saxophone wafts through the track, and like the funky guitar that is frequently implemented throughout the EP, it is reminiscent of the Young Americans period of David Bowie.
The EP also seems to have several influences from the eighties, including the Depeche Mode tinged percussion on Live Outside, a lazy rock song which revolves around the strumming of guitar. The George Michael-esque (?) backing vocals on this track are echoed in Don’t Doubt My Heart, which if I called a mish-mosh of Queen and MGMT it would be reductive, but not completely inaccurate. Don’t Doubt My Heart is a standout on the EP for its unpredictable structure and cohesive production, a shimmering track that turns, naturally, from contemplative to militant.
I’d say that Love is the Drug is the All You Need is Love of the EP. I wish every album, EP, compilation and mini-album ended on a note of such wild optimism, or at least that it becomes a standard in the near future. The lyrics are delivered in an intense whisper, which is highly personal and very funny; crooning croons such as: “love, love, lovely love, I can’t get enough.” Lyrics such as this may contradict the overall bright and relieved tone of the song, but it’s joyous without being foolish.