Massachusetts indie rockers Speedy Ortiz have been a regular on our weekly list of the Top MP3s for weeks, thanks to twisted-but-joyous singles like “Hexxy”, “Tiger Tank”, “No Below”, and “Plough”. Formerly the solo project of singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis, the now fully-formed outfit have made waves with their blend of authentic ’90s rock ala Dinosaur Jr. and The Breeders and Dupuis’ dense, almost literary lyrical yarns. (She formerly studied poetry at UMass-Amherst.)
Now, the band looks to continue their ascension into the big leagues by streaming their debut album, Major Arcana, in full one week ahead of its release date (July 9th via Carpark Records). Take a listen over at NPR.
The 10-track album was recorded in just days at the Sonelab studio of producer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Chelsea Light Moving), with the band working day and night to make use of Pizzoferrato’s collection of old distortion pedals. According to Carpark, “themes of the occult and the supernatural run deep through Major Arcana, inspired by Dupuis’ reading on black magic. Dupuis’ sometimes knotty and abstract lyrics bring to mind fellow wordsmith Stephen Malkmus, while referencing horror film tropes, chemistry, and neuroscience.”
The resulting effort, however, is more than the sum of Malkmus lyrics and horror movie cliches. At its core, the emotionality is off the charts, with Dupuis supplying a sampler platter of emotional sentiments from teenage awkwardness and forlorn to fits of existential uncertainty and self-loathing, all through the lens of a truly smart and progressive songwriter. And though the music owes its existence to all things ’90s rock, Dupuis and company make the noise and grunge of the era sound refreshingly sweet and playful, like children playing with their dad’s old toys in ways never imagined.
Pre-orders are ongoing.
Major Arcana Tracklist:
01. Pioneer Spine
02. Tiger Tank
04. Casper (1995)
05. No Below
08. Cash Cab