REVIEW: Sorority Noise – “A Better Sun”
by Chad Jewett
In faster, more effusive songs, Cam Boucher’s lowest registers translate as wry and winking, full of the same knowing irony that you’d find whenever, say, Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields would emphasize his bassiest drawl. But in the slowed-down, carefully-rendered context of a slow-burner like the lovely “A Better Sun”, there’s a different effect: a poignancy that reminds you that Sorority Noise’s foremost strength is their earnestness. “A Better Sun” offers its sadness with a straight face – a far cry from the operatic and slyly humorous undertones of 2014’s Forgettable, for instance. A simple line like “It hurts” resonates. The song’s careful construction of electric piano and light dots of guitar marks a further turn towards subtlety for the band; the tightrope walk between major and minor keys recalls a whole lot of underappreciated 90s guitar-pop craftspeople: Semisonic, Marcy Playground, Nada Surf. The song eventually crests into loudness; the hushed early verses become sing-along hooks — all trusty arrows in Sorority Noise’s quiver. It’s the two minutes leading up to all of that that really stand out.