Today’s Song: Del Water Gap Turns the Unspoken into Art on “Sorry I Am”

Del Water Gap © Angela Riccardi
Del Water Gap © Angela Riccardi
Del Water Gap’s soft, shimmering single “Sorry I Am” does another deep dive into those words unspoken.
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Stream: “Sorry I Am” – Del Water Gap


I wish I could tell you
How sorry I am
Have you found someone new?
A Christian man?

S. Holden Jaffe – the Brooklyn-based frontman of solo project Del Water Gap – has never shied away from the personal. Last year, Jaffe released “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat”, an angsty, viscerally intimate single. The track was the breakout star from his string of 2020 singles – garnering millions of streams and even getting some coverage here at Atwood. The success mostly came from the fact that “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat” is an absolute bop, but it was perhaps partly due to the song’s title and meaning. There’s something raw and profound about shining a light on those words and conversations that are hard to say, about attempting to render the unspoken into existence.

Sorry I Am - Del Water Gap
Sorry I Am – Del Water Gap

It’s been nearly a year since “Ode to a Conversation Stuck in Your Throat” made its splash on the music scene, and Jaffe is now back with another single: “Sorry I Am”. His first single this year, “Sorry I Am” takes yet another deep dive into those words unspoken; it is, like its predecessor, personal and profound.

I wish I could tell you
You’re drop dead kind
You’re easy to talk to
And you’re generous with time

With a strong backbeat, sweeping guitar riffs, and some lovely harmonies on its second verse, “Sorry I Am” feels a lot more upbeat and poppy than Jaffe’s older, folkier tracks. But if you look at the lyrics, you’ll find something a bit more complicated.

The song opens with the phrase “I wish I could tell you.” So, in a way, “Sorry I Am” is one giant hypothetical.

A collection of words that were never truly spoken. Another conversation stuck in Jaffe’s throat. But technically, simply by making this song, the words were spoken. Even if there’s a hefty amount of anonymity in the lyrics, and even if we’re not the “you” that Jaffe wishes he could tell this to, we’re still a part of the conversation. Jaffe penned all his questions and feelings about a former love interest, and we heard it. “Where are you living now? And have you changed your hair? And do you keep my friends around for purposes unclear?” We can’t offer the answers he’s looking for, or the closure he may need so that he can be “ready to let go”, but we can bear witness to what he has to say. So in another way, “Sorry I Am” is one giant confession.



Now shortly before “Sorry I Am” was released, Jaffe spun up @iwishicouldtellyou__ – “an anonymous collection of words unspoken & unsent”. The confessional instagram account, which Jaffe continues to actively curate, exists as a space to finally acknowledge those things you wish you could say. Love, grief, forgiveness, or just a simple “chag sameach” – whatever you want to post, to whoever you want to post to… as long as it begins with “I wish I could tell you”. The existence of a service like this isn’t groundbreaking on its own (for instance, The Unsent Project collects unsent love letters), but coupling it with the release of “Sorry I Am” contextualizes the song in a rather unique way. The song is, effectively, Jaffe’s own entry. And if he can take his unspoken words and turn them into a work of art – well then, I wish I could tell you to do the same.

Del Water Gap’s first release via Mom + Pop Music, “Sorry I Am” is dreamy, breezy, and catchy-as-ever. Stream it below, and look out for Del Water Gap’s first show in two years, alongside Mt. Joy this May, at the iconic Red Rocks.

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:: stream/purchase “Sorry I Am” here ::
Stream: “Sorry I Am” – Del Water Gap

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Sorry I Am - Del Water Gap

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