Festival Coverage

Hopscotch Must-Sees: Speedy Ortiz

Major Arcana by Speedy Ortiz
Major Arcana

This is a personal artist spotlight on Speedy Ortiz by DJ DiGiorno for Hopscotch.

Speedy Ortiz’s first foray into the scene was the release of The Death of Speedy Ortiz in 2011. Then a solo project of songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Sadie Dupuis, the lo-fi pop album began to make its way around. Dupois then decided to enlist the help of her friends Matt Robidoux (guitar), Darl Ferm (bass) and Mike Falcone (drums) in early 2012 to turn Speedy Ortiz into the full band it needed to become. This noisy band quickly found its home in the Boston DIY scene playing basements and house shows left and right. In the summer of 2012, Speedy Ortiz released a 7" as well as an EP. Now that they were a quartet, this gave them the ability to flesh out the sound of the first album. Their songs were praised for their pop-sense vocals atop the ambitious noise. The aggressive, thundering drums bottomed out by hefty bass riffs complete with frenetic, dissonant guitar parts fronted by soothing vocals helped complete their signature abrasive yet beautiful style of noise-pop.

After some success with their first releases, Speedy Ortiz made their way around the nation playing mainly house shows and DIY spaces. Their low key shows were delivered spot on to very welcoming audiences around the nation. After touring extensively, they embarked on their first truly collaborative effort. In July 2013, they released their proper debut album Major Arcana to major critical acclaim including Best New Music from Pitchfork. This album saw them perfecting their craft. Dupuis’ carefully crafted vocals soaring over discord. In addition to meaningful lyrics, she also provides another layer to the record with her cunning wordplay and perfectly articulated annunciations. Her lyrical delivery rivals the best in indie music these days. This can be dangerous in most cases as it can draw closer attention to the words, but they end up holding their own in a time when lyrical prowess seems to be of a bygone era. This praise is not to say that Dupois outshines the rest of the band. Her fellow band mates’ skills are well on par with hers. The thunderous drums and bass lay the groundwork for the melodic driven noisy guitars that echo and compliment the melody lines. Altogether, this is a very tight band that is an absolute must-see for Hopscotch Music Festival.

Favorite Tracks: Tiger Tank, No Below, Fun, Pioneer Spine

RIYL: Yuck, Polvo, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement

Playing: Kennedy Theater, Friday September 6th 11:00 PM-12:00 A.M.