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Sonagi “Everything Is Longing”

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Sonagi is the romanization of the Korean word 소나기 which means “sudden rain showers.” Sonagi is also the title of Hwang Sung-won’s culturally significant 1952 short story of a romance between two young people living in the Post-War and Pre-Industrial Korean countryside. For the Philadelphia quintet who play intense and melancholy screamo earmarked by equal parts crushing passages of dissonance and chord-based harmony, the name is aptly chosen. Sonagi’s songs hit like a typhoon, drenching the listener in melody and chaos before ending without fanfare.

After forming in late 2019, Sonagi contributed two songs, “070587 (blue ticket),” and “endless waltz,” for The Cold Promise of Uncertainty, a four-way split record through enduring screamo label Middle Man Records. Guitarist/vocalist Harim Jung and lead vocalist Ryann Slauson had met two years prior upon their arrival to the Pennsylvania music hotspot, forging a friendship based on their involvement in DIY, eventually forming Sonagi with drummer Keean Mansour, and completing the lineup in 2022 with guitarist Eric Mauro and bassist Jin Woo Lee. 2022 also saw Sonagi release their debut LP Precedent, on Get Better Records, with a midwest/Canada tour centered around New Friends Fest in Toronto, while they solidified themselves as a staple at home in Philadelphia DIY. Almost the entirety of Sonagi comes with a past project, Slauson with his band Closer, Mauro with The Saddest Landscape and Capacities, Mansour with La Luna and Pique, and Lee with Half/Cross.

Sonagi is prepared to take another step forward with their newest release, Everything Is Longing.
Their third effort shows how deep Sonagi’s roots in screamo run, with it being their first with Jeremy Bolm’s (Touché Amoré) Secret Voice Records and the engineering and mixing handled by Steve Roche (Off Minor) at his Permanent Hearing Damage studio. Everything Is Longing is a refinement of desire, jealousy, lack, shame into the word longing. Everything Is Longing focuses heavily on multiple dimensions of grief and loss and the “impossible task” of trying to heal without logic or closure; as Ryann’s dad was lost at sea in 2020; as we collectively lost so many people to a historic, worldwide health emergency; the veils of trust and order and systems of oppression pulled away, or at least somewhat questioned with a louder voice and a better understanding of how they all connect.

Everything Is Longing also digs into what it means to be a trans person, the experience of what you were before, what and who you have known yourself to be, what and who you wish you were, and how to make that true and real. The loss and gain of identity, deciding who to trust with what, the feeling of starting over, trying foolishly to catch up, remembering and forgetting and learning all at the same time - it’s very confusing, and expensive, and strange. Within Philadelphia DIY, Sonagi is rooted in solidarity and community building with queer and marginalized people, centering art as connection and inclusion.

01. Rain Shadow
02. Polite Excuses
03. Stairs As A Weapon
04. Grief Tourist

All LPs are sent in robust vinyl mailers to avoid any cosmetic damage during transit, but note that the store isn't responsible for seam splits, bent corners and potential sound issues.