Review: Sorority Noise – It Kindly Stopped For Me EP

Following on from their critically acclaimed 2015 album Joy, Departed, Sorority Noise are set to release their new EP It Kindly Stopped For Me. Although their earlier music takes on more upbeat indie rock vibes, you may need to adjust your ears to their new tracks, as the band’s new EP experiments with delicate folk sounds, as it sensitively expresses a topic in need of a much more fragile musical approach.

After having lost a friend to depression a few days prior to creating the tracks, main singer Cam Boucher appears to want this EP to be dedicated both to his friend, and to the issue of mental health in general, he himself having been a sufferer earlier in his life.

The main track ‘Either Way’ tackles these issues through lyric and instrumentals, as the soft guitar and piano sounds deepen the expression and bring musical colour to the intense emotions at work within the song. We can approach the lyrics in two sections, as he first seems to echo the voice of the friend he lost, saying “I saw my chance and I took it”. He then repeats this line yet as if from his own voice, reinterpreting the words for good, as he now believes he has a chance to turn his life around, and takes the chance to fight his own depression.

The beautifully soft piano truly comes into its own in ‘A Will’ as this magically tender sound dominates the track, the instrumentals becoming even more powerful than the lyrics. As it explores how depression is able to empty a person of all other emotion, the track incorporates slightly experimental atmospheric sounds in the background, almost sounding like the outside world, as real human experience is so key to this EP.

These effects are most prominent in ‘Fource’, as the track is stripped back to almost just a recording of Boucher walking along while singing and talking to himself. This track is very unique, yet is intense and powerful. His emotional train of thought is simultaneously empowered by the sounds of both the outside world and other strange noises, arguably reflecting the chaos inside his head.

The EP concludes by taking us back to a more instrumental track, ‘XC’; seemingly a musical expression of psychological stress. The constant ticking noise intimidates the tone, while the incorporation of female vocals explores human relationships with regards to mental instability.

Overall, Sorority Noise’s new EP is impressive and hugely thought provoking. Mental health has recently become a very popular topic, as there has been a huge influx in encouragement for discussion about these illnesses. Therefore, hugely relevant to correct issues, It Kindly Stopped For Me perfectly reinforces this need for discussion, and is powerfully done through musical expression.

Rowan Bennett

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