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Speedy Ortiz


Major Arcana

And you picked a virgin over me!’ goes the hook to Plough towards the end of Speedy Ortiz’ proper full-length debut and it cuts like standing too close to a helicopter’s blades.

For anyone whose ears pricked up to the likes of Parquet Courts last year, this is a record of wall-to-wall mid-’90s indie comfort food, like stirring together a more melody-focused Kathleen Hanna, a more pissed off  (i.e. less stoned) Doug Martsch and a more urgent Terror Twilight. There are oodles of chewy, dissonant guitar hooks and loping rhythms, but the real focus is Sandie Dupuis’ voice and her lyrics. Whether she’s mourning a broken leg in high school or talking about getting her dick sucked on the regular, she has a rare presence and charisma that makes most white-boy guitar music seem lily-livered in comparison. Though there’s a lot of spleen-venting on Major Arcana, it’s never comes across as merely angsty, partially because Dupuis is a poetry major at UMass and partially because of the level of control and invention her songwriting has when it comes to making a feeling simmer instead of hiss.

She also fronted an all-female Pavement cover band called Babement, so add that to list of reasons why you need to check this out.


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