Next month Speedy Ortiz will release Twerp Verse, its first new full-length album in three years. Fresh off of an outstanding run at SXSW last week, the band shares the record’s second single today entitled ‘Lean In When I Suffer.’
Speedy Ortiz front person Sadie Dupuis on the song and video:
“‘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 taaaake uuuup spaaaace, 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 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.
(And also, real therapy. That shit works.)”
In the Fall of 2016, Speedy Ortiz went to Brooklyn’s Silent Barn to record what they thought would be their third LP, but following election day they knew they had to change course. “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,” explains front person Sadie Dupuis. “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.” So the band scrapped the album they made, Dupuis wrote more songs over the course of four months, and Speedy Ortiz created the urgent, taught, and pointedly witty Twerp Verse, out April 27th on Carpark.
On Twerp Verse, which was mixed by Omaha legend Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley) and mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Emily Lazar (Sia, Haim, Beck), Speedy Ortiz accelerate the band’s idiosyncrasy through the wilderness of Dupuis’ heady reflections on sex, lies and audiotape while adding surprising textures like Linn drums and whirled guitar processing to their off-kilter hooks. Dupuis, whose electropop solo project Sad13 debuted in 2016 shortly after her own move to Philadelphia, has become more instinctive in her songwriting—her home-recorded demos mirror Twerp Verse’s songs in a closer way than any other Speedy record. The band’s camaraderie and crate-digging is evident, with diffuse reference points like Squeeze, Hop Along, Prince, Paramore, and Brenda Lee being sucked into the band’s chaos. Even when Dupuis sings of alienation and political weariness, the pop maelstrom swirling around her provides a defiantly charged, mussed-but-hooky optimism.
“You need to employ a self-preservational sense of humor to speak truth in an increasingly baffling world,” says Dupuis on the album title Twerp Verse. “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. 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.” Now as public pushback against the old guards reaches a fever pitch – in the White House, Hollywood and beyond – the band fires shots in disillusioned Gen Y theme “Lucky 88,” and casts a side-eye towards suitors-turned-monsters in the cold-blooded single “Villain.” Closing track “You Hate The Title” is a slinky traipse through the banality of this current moment in patriarchy – in which survivors are given the mic, but nitpicked over the timbre of their testimonies. Tuned smartly to the political opacity of the present, Twerp Verse rings clear as a bell.
Speedy Ortiz is: Sadie Dupuis (guitar, vox, synths), Andy Molholt (guitar), Darl Ferm (bass) and Mike Falcone (drums)
4/21/18 – Lansing, MI – Stoopfest
5/3/18 – Hamden, CT – Space Ballroom
5/5/18 – Washington, DC – Black Cat
5/7/18 – Norfolk, VA – Charlie’s American Cafe
5/8/18 – Durham, NC – The Pinhook
5/9/18 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade – Purgatory
5/10/18 – Nashville, TN – The High Watt
5/12/18 – Chicago, IL – Subterranean
5/13/18 – Detroit, MI – El Club
5/14/18 – Toronto, ON – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern
5/15/18 – Montreal, QC -La Vitrola
5/17/18 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/29/18 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s
5/30/18 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
6/1/18 – Little Rock, AR – Stickyz Rock’n’Roll Chicken Shack
6/2/18 – Austin, TX – Barracuda
6/3/18 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada
6/5/18 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge
6/6/18 – San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
6/7/18 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
6/9/18 – Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
6/10/18 – San Francisco, CA – Cafe Du Nord
6/12/18 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
6/13/18 – Seattle, WA – The Vera Project
6/14/18 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
6/16/18 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
6/17/18 – Omaha, NE – Reverb
6/19/18 – St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room
6/20/18 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi