Posts Tagged ‘Twerp Verse’

Speedy Ortiz, Twerp Verse

The run up to Twerp Verse, the third record from Speedy Ortiz, has intoduced three vibrant music videos. Each one taps into the sardonic wit and playful imagination of its singer, guitarist and lyrical mastermind of Sadie Dupuis, but the video for “Villain” (directed in a crayon box array of retro colors by Elle Schneider) is especially powerful at distilling her message to something tangible. Recreating the campy feel of a monster flick, Dupuis is relentlessly provoked by a fish-headed creature, a surreal embodiment of invasive verbal abuse and physical harassment that women endure daily. “‘I wanna know what kind of games you like,'” she recounts, before recoiling at these unwanted advances: “He talks like he knows me, so I’m being polite.” Later, she sings “‘I wanna know if a no means alright.’ / He looks past my answer, did he earn the right? No way.” — a dark inverse to her consent-positive mantra in “Get A Yes,” a fizzy gem from Dupuis‘ solo project Sad13.

While the concepts at play in “Villain” are familiar territory Dupuis and Speedy Ortiz have covered in the past, she’s never been quite this direct. Surprisingly, these themes weren’t initially the album’s intended direction. As the story goes, the band was primed to record in late 2016, but soon decided that batch of songs were “strictly personal or lovey-dovey” and no longer felt relevant amid the cultural and political shifts occurring post election. “Social politics and protest have been a part of our music from day one, and I didn’t want to stop doing that on this album,” Dupuis stated in the album’s press release. The band shelved those efforts mid-stream and doubled-down to write new material that better reflected these turbulent, unprecedented times. The result, Twerp Verse, shows Speedy Ortiz at its most pointed and fearless.

With a Master’s degree in poetry and a reputation for skillful, hilarious wordplay, Dupuis is among rock’s more compelling songwriters. Across Twerp Verse’s 11 tracks, she rapidly slings pop culture and literary references and shrouds her narratives in cryptic, visceral phrases worthy of decoding. And it gives license to speak hard truths and reveal personal anxieties — be it falling back into the familiar comforts of bad relationships (“Backslidin'”) or mining contradictory feelings on love and commitment (“Moving In”). “Lucky 88” critiques the head-in-the-sand apathy and disillusionment of people watching the world crumble around them. “One more time with reeling / You siphoned out the feeling / Can’t you act responsibly? / You’re the sick pup who created me,” she sings, before repeating “I don’t care anymore…” with weary resignation. But Dupuis is best when wielding humor and sarcasm — and taking no prisoners. “You Hate The Title” is a withering rebuke of haters publicly nitpicking someone’s opinions and creative endeavors, while still “singing along.” “You hate the title but you’re digging the song / You like it in theory, but it’s rubbing you wrong,” she seethes atop fluttering keyboards that belie her fed-up side-eye. “I can’t, I can’t, with your ‘Just can’t even’s.”

Recorded at Silent Barn in Brooklyn with Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader (Ava Luna) and produced and mixed by Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) at his studio in Omaha, Twerp Verse is both musically expansive and Dupuis’ most accessible work yet, a blend of catchy pop hooks and dexterous guitar playing. “Buck Me Off” opens with that signature Speedy Ortiz formula, and the band — comprised of bassist Darl Ferm, drummer Mike Falcone, and guitarist Andy Molholt — outright shreds with overdriven chords and buzzy solos piercing through murky distortion. Similarly “Sport Death” unfurls razor-sharp riffs that mimic the vocal melodies, and builds tension through off-kilter chord progressions and half-step dissonance. Elsewhere, they fold in pitch-shifted tones, pulsing synths, and laptop beats (“Lucky 88”) and skin-crawling atmosphere (“I’m Blessed”) — something first hinted at on 2015’s Foil Deer, and honed further on Sad13’s 2016 record, Slugger — and invigorates what can be tricky subject matter with immediate uplift and noisy catharsis.

That’s emblematic of “Alone With Girls” and “I’m Blessed,” in which Speedy Ortiz both alludes to emotional bullying and violence in past toxic relationships, and uses its platform to amplify the voices and stories too often silenced or marginalized. ” Lean In When I Suffer,” the album’s anthem, refutes self-branded feminist allies who only appear supportive when they don’t have to address their own privilege or problematic behavior. She’s having none of that, quipping “I’m checking my phone / He’s unworthy of talk / If he really wants to be the one, he’d forfeit shotgun for once…” It’s in these moments, Speedy Ortiz’s songs become about reclaiming agency, and finding empowerment through empathy. In that way, Twerp Verse is an album arriving right on time.

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“Lean In When I Suffer” is about that fun breed of “ally” who wears out their already exhausted friends by relying on us for excessive emotional labor. They want props for their wokeness, but don’t want to put in any actual work or divest themselves of power. They just take up space, and shut down when you try to talk them through their problematic tendencies. Because #selfcare? So you’re stuck in a toxic vampiric loop trying to maintain a relationship–Lean In And Suffer, why don’t you!

Director Ari Ratner gives the clip a hyperactive cut-and-paste PBS vibe, with lots of clowning and fun costumes, like the one worn by Speedy Ortiz bandleader Sadie Dupuis. The throes of her depression send her to a place with people promising relief, and delivering even worse feelings.

Director Ari Ratner took this concept a step further to address another annoyance we found relatable as hell, which is when “people give unsolicited advice about how to beat depression. [They] typically fail to acknowledge depression as a real illness and often minimize the experiences of the person they are trying to help.” So our OK-to-Cry-Corral band gets put through happiness bootcamp from a group of clowns who’ve “never been sad” (and some accompanying Crayola-bright illustrations from Julia Emiliani).

Ultimately, playing angry rock songs is our favorite form of therapy

“Lean In When I Suffer” is the second single from Speedy Ortiz’s forthcoming album, “Twerp Verse,” out April 27th on Carpark Records.

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Speedy Ortiz  is back, The Fabulous front woman Sadie Dupuis has mastered the balance of playing familiar material from her band’s early catalog while letting what’s on the horizon shine. Speedy Ortiz performed twice during SXSW during the week, and while the setlists were different, each was book ended with ear candy from the excellent albums  Foil Deer and Major Arcana albums, both are filled with gems,  Sadie has a penchant for writing great songs like the triumphant “Lucky 88”—from the band’s upcoming newest and upcoming album Twerp Verse (out April 27 on Carpark). Always eclectically dressed and with an array of ornate headpieces, Dupuis is so delightful to see and hear live. She frequently loses herself in the bombastic music played by her band, but always maintains her presence onstage, to the point that you can feel her cycling through the thoughts and emotions of her intriguing songwriting.

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“Lean In When I Suffer” is the second single from Speedy Ortiz’s forthcoming album, “Twerp Verse,” out April 27th on Carpark Records.

 

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Speedy Ortiz  have announced their first release in over two years, and their first proper full-length since 2015’s Foil Deer. “Twerp Verse” is out on April 27th via Carpark Records, and in tandem with their new album’s announcement, Sadie Dupuis and company have also shared the video for synths and sardonic lead single “Lucky 88,” in which Dupuis declares, “I don’t care anymore.”

Dupuis explained the clever, colorful and ultimately optimistic video’s conception in a statement:

For the video, we wanted something evil, glossy, cynical, and camp. director Emily Yoshida came up with a concept that addresses our reliance on technology and apps that’s so absorbing, it’s hard to engage with the outside world, even when it is literally being consumed by slime (and, hello, global warming, melting ice, coral bleaching, impending heat death, make no mistake, it is being consumed by slime).

Soon after Speedy Ortiz assembled in Brooklyn in the fall of 2016 and recorded what they thought was their third album, Election Day happened, and the band knew they had to scrap what they had done, shifting their focus from the personal to the political. “The songs on the album that were strictly personal or lovey dovey just didn’t mean anything to me anymore that’s not the kind of music I’ve found healing or motivating in the past few years, and I was surprised I’d written so much of it,” Dupuis recalls. “Social politics and protest have been a part of our music from day one, and I didn’t want to stop doing that on this album.” Four months and many new songs later, the result was Twerp Verse, which a press release describes as a “urgent, taught and pointedly witty” album that’s “tuned smartly to the political opacity of the present.” The album’s consonant title, too, is a nod to the importance of speaking out: “I call it a ‘twerp verse’ when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish—like a Lil Wayne verse—but it becomes the most crucial part,” Dupuis explains. “I like ‘twerp’ as a diss, but in this meaning, the twerp is doing a service—shaking things up by being bold, not complacent, never silent.”

Speedy Ortiz  The band, made up of Dupuis on guitars, vocals and synths, Darl Ferm on bass and Mike Falcone on drums, is now joined by supporting guitarist Andy Molholt (of psych-pop act Laser Background).

“Lucky 88” is the first single from Speedy Ortiz’s forthcoming album, “Twerp Verse,” out April 27th on Carpark Records.,