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Emerson alumnus and WERS veteran Jake Sorgen has become a respectable musician since graduating. So the surreal feeling that was shared between Sorgen and the WERS staff when he came to perform songs from his solo musical career was understandable. He interacted with the staff as if he had never left Emerson and was still working at WERS, but once he began to perform, it became clear how far he has come. It was then that he ceased to feel like a peer, and took on the presence of a notable musical figure.
The first song Sorgen performed, titled “Demons”, is from his upcoming follow-up EP to his debut LP Sudden Myth. About the process of making the new EP, Sorgen said“ I’m definitely approaching it with this concept of it being minimalistic, with as minimal stuff as possible to get across what I want to get across.” This idea was reflected in the performance, which was vocally driven. The dynamism in his guitar strumming paralleled the intensity of the lyrical content, creating a minimal yet cohesive musical message.
His next song, again from the upcoming EP, showcased what he learned at Emerson as a Writing, Literature, and Publishing major. The poetic lyrics were rich with imagery and flowery language, and his eyes-shut performance style made it seem the images were stimulating to him as they were to the listener. The depth of the lyrical content, however, in no way sacrificed accessibility. The song was complete with a memorable and infectious melody, which was highlighted by his newly adopted minimalistic style. He is recording this song, and all of the songs from his upcoming EP, in a way much different than prior recordings. “On this I’m working in the studio and with a producer,” said Sorgen. “From start to finish I have someone saying ‘we’ve got it, we’ve got to move on.’”
Sorgen closed his set with the song “Barcelona Before”, a prelude to a track released on his LP. The song is a lyrically narrative, chronicling his experiences in Barcelona while studying abroad. Much of the inspiration for his music comes from his experience traveling in Europe, and, surprisingly, the product of the inspiration is undeniably American. Sorgen explained this saying, “there is something about being away from home that made those roots stronger, it came together as writing American music about places that are not America.” This contrast in cultural influences makes for an interesting dynamic that sets him apart as a songwriter.
Currently Sorgen is in the middle of a New England tour, his first tour of this magnitude. He expects to release his follow up EP in early 2013, and his music and other information is available at JakeSorgen.com