Posts Tagged ‘Sad13’

Sad13 NataliePiserchio

Sadie Dupuis has found ways to stay productive during 2020. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Speedy Ortiz vocalist/guitarist founded a poetry journal as an extension of her record label, Wax Nine, to help out people in the lit world who are often prone to exploitation. She then released “Haunted Painting”, her second album under the moniker Sad13, just last month.

It followed 2016’s Slugger, and the wait was worth it the album is extravagant and clever throughout the eleven tracks, grappling with grief, aging, and misogyny in idiosyncratic ways.

Filme in her mother’s backyard in Northwestern Connecticut, Dupuis performed the tracks “Hysterical” and “Oops…!” from Haunted Painting for “Neighborhoods” with her dog Buster making a special appearance. Watch the intimate renditions below.

Sad13 (Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz) plays two tracks from her recent solo LP “Haunted Painting” in Northwestern Connecticut.

Sadie Dupuis has had a hand in almost every creative aspect of the music industry—between playing in her indie rock band Speedy Ortiz, collaborating with Lizzo, running Wax Nine Records and combining music with advocacy, she’s done it all. Now, Dupuis is back with her first solo album since 2016’s Slugger under the moniker Sad13. The writing process for Dupuis’ new album Haunted Painting started after she witnessed an apparition at a Seattle art gallery, but she dives into ideas larger than her own haunting experiences. “What was it like to come of age in such a cruel place?” Dupuis sings on “The Crow.” The album leans on a loose horror theme, between the vampiric video for early single “Oops….!” and Dupuis presenting as a self-proclaimed “frontdemon.” Despite the concept, lyrics like those on “The Crow” feel aware of their place at this moment amid a tense political climate and months spent in pandemic isolation.

Directed & everything else by Elle Schneider Styled remotely by Lindsey Hartman Shot at Silver Sands Motel, Greenport, NY. Special thanks to Terry Keefe. “Ghost (of a Good Time)” from Haunted Painting, out September 25th, 2020

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Sadie Dupuis song writing has been a practice in poptimistic views through the complicated indie rock gaze. The best songs from her band Speedy Ortiz and are the ones where the hooks swing heavy even when knotted up in amp cords and wrought time signatures, and with her solo project outlet Sad13, tracks like “Get a Yes” made you wonder what her take on subversive accessibility might sound like in her hands. In recent years, it’s sounded like Dupuis has grown more comfortable with that notion – Speedy’s 2018 Twerp Verse had some of the best weirdo indie-pop jams out there that year – but “Haunted Painting”, her second effort as Sad13, is a different kind of ghost.

As someone who has proven over the last decade to be a diverse combined-forced creative in her roles as a songwriter, poet, activist and visual artist, one should expect by now for Dupuis’ work to reflect a lot of thought going on within it. Her past work in both band and singular form has often warred with itself in finding a balance between great production, an atypical pop ambition, sincere wokeness, and the pursuit of seeing her reflection actualized in a sound defined as her own, and Haunted Painting is that self-portrait that puts it all on the canvas.

Backed by an all-women collective of studio pros including the likes of Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin and Grammy winner Erin Tonkon as well as featuring guest spots from Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, Tune-Yards’ Merrill Garbus and Pile’s Rick Maguire, Dupuis’ all-hands-on-deck project culls together engineers and musicians gifted in tweaking her electric indie-pop hexes into her own perfect spells. The cast does not deter from Dupuis as the focal point of “Haunted Painting”, and the way she wires together pop-rock with sharply-refined verbosity.

This especially comes in handy whenever she’s cutting down the patriarchy good wit as she does in the sci-fi synth pop anthemry of “Hysterical”, or drumming down bad behavior on “…Oops!” The most interesting aspects of Dupuis’ songwriting on Haunted Painted are how it goes further in colouring in her creative persona as something more than just using her voice to cause waves within socio-political currents, however. “Into the Catacombs” is an ornate orchestration that sets an ominous introduction for themes of loss, love, and loneliness backed by Roberto Carlos Lange of Helado Negro’s ghostly apparitions akin to every starting point on an …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead album. “Good Grief” and “Take Care’ showcase a duality in a new found confidence with quietness building within the heaviness of indie rocks rolling, as she turns to timeless stylistic designs well learned from Liz Phair’s latter work.

Where Haunted Painted ultimately ends up is in one of Sadie Dupuis’ best songs written to date. “Market Hotel” sends the album off in one last burst of big, frustrated exultation with its share of side-eyed disses after already exhaling her traumas, anxieties, and washed adult dirtbag ruminations from her soul before it. It’s a saccharine ripper that in less than two minutes compresses everything that Haunted Painting is in picturing every side of Dupuis’ songwriting craft within the same frame. “I’m working three fucking jobs, I’m too embarrassed to die,” she sings. The punchlines are deprecating and surely, Dupuis is tired of having to make them, but it doesn’t stop her from hitting them right on target every time.

Sadie Dupuis – guitar, bass, synths, organ, marimba, prepared piano, drum programming, vocals, production, arrangement

Haunted Painting, out September 25, 2020

 

Sad13, the new project led by Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz, shared a new song “WTD?” via Adult Swim Singles. It is the first Sad13 song in three years and the thirteenth entry in this current Adult Swim Singles series.

“WTD?” stands for “what’s the drama?” Quite frankly, it seems like quite a few things.

“It’s about eco-fascism, climate gentrification, and the depopulation of species, caused by human selfishness and industrial greed,” Dupuis says in a press release.

The glittery pop song finds Dupuis playing her first ever sitar solo over buzzy synth layers and gnarly guitar riffs. Zoë Brecher bangs drums on the track while Audrey Zee Whitesides lays down the bass, making it the first Sad13 recording to feature the two members who have previously performed in the live band. The song was tracked at Studio G in Brooklyn with engineer Erin Tonkon (David Bowie, Esperanza Spaulding) and mixed by Sarah Tudzin (Weyes Blood, Illuminati Hotties). Sad13’s last song was 2017’s “Soo Bad” and the project’s last album was its 2016 debut, Slugger (which was considered more of a Dupuis solo album).

Drums by Zoë Brecher
Bass guitar by Audrey Zee Whitesides
Produced & written by Sadie Dupuis, Guitar, synth, sitar, toy piano, cowbell, vocals, etc

WTD?:
Released by Adult Swim Singles, May 18th 2020

Slugger, is the debut LP from Sad13 a.k.a. Sadie Dupuis, prioritizes self-possession in every sense. Sadie, who fronts the dynamite grunge-pop band Speedy Ortiz, forewent her usual modes of collaboration on Slugger, writing and producing the record herself–“to exorcise my control-freaky demons,” she says.

After Sadie moved to Philadelphia in early 2016, Slugger quickly began to take shape: “I wrote and played and recorded almost all of it in the two weeks I was subletting a friend’s tiny bedroom,” she says. Fittingly, directness, self-determinism, and intimacy are the bedrocks of Slugger’s overall tone. Sadie maintains her dignified wit even in less-than-ideal entanglements, as on the album’s opening track, “<2,” styled to resemble the level of affection of which a heart is capable when it’s been twisted out of shape. “I’m in less than two with you,” sings Dupuis, her crystalline voice steadfastly delicate and assured, recalling self-proprietary forebears like Liz Phair and Fiona Apple.

Imitating the reflexive wordplay of Slugger’s lyrics, Sad13’s bedroom recordings are largely about bedroom-based themes. She chews on what it means to give and receive consent, sexual and romantic autonomy, finding new modes of enjoying love and boning after destructive partnerships, shredding joyously past misogyny and other exclusionary gender politics, and so many more exploratory, non-exploitative areas of love. Throughout Slugger, Sadie makes her motives and desires invitingly clear. As she sings on the song “The Sting,” “You don’t know how I’d like to say yes”—but she intends to tell you, and to be heard in kind.

Slugger–produced by Dupuis, mixed by Gabe Wax (Beirut, Wye Oak, Boots) and mastered by Emily Lazar (Sia, HAIM, Sky Ferreira)–is less rock-principled than Sadie’s other projects, but the talented guitarist makes intelligent work of her instrument throughout the record. The guitar lines are layered with synth melodies written on her laptop and are, occasionally, joined by live drums from Julian Fader (currently of Ava Luna; formerly bandmates with Sadie in Quilty).

This matches Sadie’s penchant for bright, tricky assonance and Wilde-style wit, her verses like sailors’ knots tying her instrumentation carefully in place. Her MFA in poetry from—and stint teaching writing at—UMass Amherst are apparent. This is also true of the rapper, producer, and PhD student Sammus’s guest appearance on the album’s final track, “Coming Into Powers,” where she raps, “I’m a star/ I’m a pulsar.” The song closes the loop on a thought ribboning around Slugger on the whole: As Dupuis sings, “I want a life where I can be who I like / Look at me, looking back at me, recognizing who I see.” Slugger identifies an artist and person who, throughout this record, is her own best company.

“Less Than 2” is taken from Sad13’s album “Slugger,” out November 11th, 2016.