Founded in 2015 by brothers Seth and Isaac Ratliff, Sorrel is an Appalachian indie band based out of Tri-Cities, TN/VA. Sorrel’s music is reminiscent of American traditional music like blues and old-time country while reaching out into folk, soul, and indie. The brothers' instrumentation—a mixture of guitars, keys, and banjo—provides a textured musical bed for their expressive vocals and evocative lyrics.
Seth and Isaac Ratliff grew up in Southwest Virginia—in coal country, the heart of Appalachia. Their musical style is informed by the bluegrass, country, blues, and gospel music they were surrounded by growing up, and their introspective, sometimes plaintive songwriting tone follows a tradition of lament established by mountain folk and mining songs in Appalachia and carried on by the likes of Doc Watson and Jean Ritchie.
Still, the brothers' modern influences are evident. Their warm, Americana-style electric guitars evoke a Real Estate vibe; their impressionistic lyrics and octave vocal melodies are reminiscent of Bon Iver; and their rich, reverbed vocals and layered studio harmonies call to mind Fleet Foxes.
With music that caters to both the new and the old, Sorrel perks up the ears of musical modernists and traditionalists alike.
Sorrel released Window Shades, their first studio single, in summer 2019. It can be found on Spotify, Google Play, or wherever music is streamed.
Lyrics:I felt you burning up Hovering in time Went fast with all my luck Knew it when I Said it in a death whisper Thats just how she went Another midnight soul shiver Bringing back her dust I heard you ginning round Somewhere upstairs Your window shades alight Reminds me of where I said it in a death whisper Azure hazy dawn Then a midnight soul shiver Sightless, carrying on Sightless, carrying on Sightless, carrying on
Lyrics:This side of time Weighs on a mind Too few road signs See I told her once To believe in my love Then I packed up Sometimes I hear An echo from that hell Oh, it takes me under I could feel sorry for myself I could call my brother Through soul-sore days Sorrow and malaise A soft song plays While I walk this world Sifting through its spoil For by and by Wont I find A refuge in this place? I cant help but wonder I could wish that you were in the same damn way I could call my brother I could call my brother I could call my brother
Lyrics:Woman be so kind to me As to see my body This ol world how it surrounds Me inside this temple My muscles cannot hold you up Anymore theyre giving in Mind lost to my enmity Spirit to my body Should I find the dignity Well, Id wrap up round your bones So when trouble comes aharrying Least well be huddled in Spirit lead my soul to thee Cant you see my body? To be present, unseen Say, how do you mean? My knuckles white as lilies from My hold youre slipping still
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