Sorority Noise revisits album with a new sound

By Kim Bongard
On March 19, 2018

Photo courtesy of Sorority Noise, Wikipedia

To commemorate the one year anniversary of their 2017 album, the band Sorority Noise reimagined their songs with new instrumentals on their latest release “YNAAYT" or "You’re Not As _____ As You Think." Sorority Noise is an alternative rock group from Connecticut, affectionately known for their emotional introspective songwriting.

The band toured their 2017 album “YNAAYT” alongside emo greats like Kevin Devine and Modern Baseball last year. However, a lot has changed for the band since last year.

Two weeks prior to their 2018 release, frontman Cameron Boucher announced the band would be going on hiatus in efforts to focus on his mental health. They originally planned to release “YNAAYT” exactly a year after their previous effort, but the record began streaming early almost immediately following their hiatus announcement. The body of work that was meant to be a celebration is also a sort of punctuation for Sorority Noise.

There’s a strong sense of purpose and anguish behind each song on “YNAAYT,” since most of its songs are anchored in suicide, loss, and depression. Although many young emo bands typically write whiny generic songs when it comes to suicide and isolation, Cameron Boucher brings brutal honesty and sincere maturity to his songwriting.

Last summer, Sorority Noise rearranged songs from “You’re Not As _____ As You Think,” by adding string sections and completely different instrumentations to add different perspectives to each song. The band didn’t just return to their studio to re-record each song on an acoustic guitar; they completely scratched what they had and added alternate dimensions to these tracks.

Whereas last year’s catalog of songs relied heavily on shrill guitars and beating drums, this setlist is washed in mellow piano chords and gentle vocals that penetrate near silence.

Take the song “Car” where the original version began with rhythmic guitar scratches for time, the rearranged track is built on an electronic drum loop syncopation spurred with distant piano chords. The original version of “Car” is a gritty rock song, but the revisited version has a lighter solo feel to it. Between the two contrasting versions, it’s as if the songs could appeal to two completely different audience genres.

In the original version of “A Portrait Of,” lead vocalist Cameron Boucher opens up about his angsty battles with depression in the song’s outro through bars of spoken word. The lyrics confessed by Boucher are extremely personal: “Since I was thirteen I’ve dealt with manic depression and I had a difficult time comprehending the things that I wanted to be.” However, this song’s panicky chaotic lyrics are replaced and redefined by a soft piano part on the revisited track.

Sorority Noise has produced multiple records just in the last five years, so it’s pretty meaningful that over any other project, the group chose to amplify and re-release their most emotional and serious material to date. Although both albums are listenable and enjoyable from front to back, it’s most rewarding to listen to the original song off of “You’re Not As_____As You Think” and then follow that up with a listen to the revisited song on “YNAAYT.”

 

kbongard@ramapo.edu

 

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