Dream-pop in bloom: In conversation with Sorrey

As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. In the case of the dream pop group Sorrey, slow and steady can also produce a great album. On Oct. 18, the Prince Edward Island-based dream-pop band released their full-length debut album, In Full Bloom, their first release since their 2015 EP Thick as Thieves. The melancholic and melody-driven release will be followed by a tour throughout Quebec, Ontario, and the Maritimes.

Emilee Sorrey, the band’s namesake and songwriter, leads the group on vocals and guitar. She was working with Colin Buchanan of Paper Lions in 2015 when they began to collaborate on songs that Sorrey had written previously.

“As that project came to a natural end, we started to work on some of my solo songs,” Sorrey said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. From that point, Sorrey-the-singer slowly transformed into Sorrey-the-band, and they have been releasing singles and playing live sets ever since. 

The band’s sound is dreamy and ethereal, while the lyrics are well-grounded in Sorrey’s personal experiences. On In Full Bloom, many songs deal with relationship troubles and miscommunication, but in a lighthearted, contemplative tone that makes for a pleasant listening experience.

“Songwriting is me working my emotions out through a song,” Sorrey said. “I start writing with a mood in mind, and then the other band members tighten up my ideas until we have a well-balanced song.” 

Patience was key when it came to recording the band’s debut album. All the band members live in the Maritimes; besides influencing their sound, it grounded them in an islander mentality, and within a dedicated community. While they recorded some tracks outside the island, most of the work was done at The Hill Sound Studios in Charlottetown. 

“You might think that [the proximity] would make for a quicker recording process, but we took our time with it,” Sorrey said. “Sometimes it can take years to finish a song.”

As the last song the band recorded, the singer sees title track “Full Bloom” as an encapsulation of the entire process of making the album.

“It’s about waiting for the right moment,” she said. “And when the moment is right, everything is in full bloom.” 

The song’s moderate tempo and easy-breezy melody evokes an image of lounging in the sun on a summer day, with nowhere to go in particular and just enjoying the moment. Sorrey’s relaxed vocals and catchy melodies give the band its dreamlike quality, while the backing instrumentals often feature bright guitar riffs and warm synths. 

The band’s love for live performance reflects the wider Maritime musical community. According to Sorrey, the music scene in P.E.I. is tightly knit and full of energy—an atmosphere that musical groups can thrive in. As all of the band members are either from or currently live on Prince Edward Island, their local music scene provides opportunities for collaboration and musical development within the community.

“Three nights out of the week, you can find a lot of good live music, and not just within our genre,” Sorrey said. “It’s really popping off.”

Despite the comforts of home, going on tour provides a chance to bring their music to new audiences along with a change of scenery.

“No matter how big a crowd is on the island, you’ll know everyone there” Sorrey said. “It’s always exciting to see new faces.”

In Full Bloom is available now on most streaming platforms.

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