Sad13 is the solo project of Sadie Dupuis out of Speedy Ortiz, in which she replaces the full band with sturdy drum machines, some fuzzed-up synths, and lots of lovely multi-tracked self-harmonies. Debut LP Slugger has a warm messy pop feel to it, with some real smart lyrics as well as the grungey tunes. Released by Carpark.
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Extremely writerly punk Sadie Dupuis has crafted many a knot song as lead singer of Speedy Ortiz, ruminating between guitars so subtle and sinewy you have to go back and learn the lesson twice. As Sad13 (I hope you get it), Dupuis has a solo record called ‘Slugger’, about those important spots between love of another and love of the self, along with muted thoughts on political autonomy and perceptions.
Between its often sparkling synths, playful beats and occasionally familiar guitars, this record speaks to a new kind of love song; Dupuis has already discussed the romance of consent as a key point in “Get A Yes”, reversing the questionable tropes of typical flirting pop songs for a song about the significance of sexual agency. The song itself has a good hook, and one unfamiliar to Dupuis’ usual sound: it’s glowing and pointed, asking you to really stamp out its key moment. Elsewhere, though, Dupuis offers the usual spider-web tactics you often see in Speedy Ortiz songs -- “Fixina” is poised, with different lite moments of riffage, acoustic rumination and grunged-up melodies.
It’s fun hearing Dupuis juggle different sounds, with “Line Up” mixing a shambles of thrashing drums with super squeaky theme tune synths that perfectly break down the a line as punk and cartoonish as “only passing go if I distribute the wealth”. “Just A Friend” flips the switch with a simple beat, almost Krauty melodies and another gorgeous guitar line while considering boundaries and respect -- “If you’ve got a friend who says she’s just a girl then you should just believe”. It’s a nice song about friendship and it has an educational message, so I’d say this record would make a good after school special, except I don’t know what that is because I’m not from America, but nobody has time to tell me right now so… yeah.
This is a fantastic indie pop record that seems to click refresh on tropes and push through a much needed patch update.
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