First Letter From St. Sean – Sorority Noise

The song, “First Letter From St. Sean,” by indie-emo band Sorority Noise is overwhelmingly sad and tired. The guitar and vocals mimic each other in terms of tone, taking on an atmospheric aspect of emotional exhaustion that’s given life by cohesive instrumental nuance. The song rests on a lethargic foundation of rhythmic and roomy guitar notes that resonate with a warm, vaporous quality. The airy reverb supplies the guitar with an almost tactile, blankety feeling. The lead guitar part contains a slight southern styled wailing that resembles a drawn out lament, while also carrying a sense of cognizant emotional restraint. The drums maintain a slow and ballad-like rocking motion, full of ghosted snare rolls, and the bright echo of shimmery cymbals that serve to enhance Sorority Noise’s melodic and spacious ambience.

This is emo that is stereotypically emo. The lyricism is dark and emphatically melancholic – the singer’s anguished and drained voice aptly parallels the depressing contents of the song with lines like “When your best friend dies and your next friend dies/ And your best friend’s friend takes his life/ And you spend six months on your own/ ‘Cause there’s no one left to talk to.” The song’s structure is reminiscent of its subject matter – the finale crescendos into an abrupt stop that contrasts the slow-to-start beginning. It’s an outpouring of emotion cut short by the agency of the artist. The song’s movement matches its theme of suicide – a kind of sad and building energy that suddenly disperses, leaving you with a sense of lost potential.

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