Ten years ago, Speedy Ortiz released their debut full-length album Major Arcana. The breakthrough album launched the band from its lo-fi origins as Sadie Dupuis’ home recording project into a power quartet celebrated for its guitar intricacies and cathartic live performances. It earned them critical acclaim, festival slots at Pitchfork, Primavera and Bonnaroo, tours with The Breeders and Stephen Malkmus, and has continued to garner acclaim for its prevailing influence on today’s indie bands. For the 10th Anniversary of their breakout release, Speedy Ortiz is celebrating with a new edition of Major Arcana, set for release on November 17th, 2023. Along with tracks remastered by The Lodge’s Emily Lazar and Chris Allgood, showcasing album engineer Justin Pizzoferrato’s original pristine mix, the new, limited vinyl color pressings come with a photo spread from Dupuis’ archives and special liner notes by Lars Gotrich (NPR Music).
“Speedy made Major Arcana in a flash of momentum—four days of recording at Sonelab with our pal Justin Pizzoferrato, paid for with the cash we scrounged up on a summer tour of this country’s basements,” says Sadie Dupuis. “‘Tour tight’-ness was always our paramount goal, and I’d say we were sufficiently road-tested when we hammered out these fourteen songs, all of them stuffed to the brim with harmonies, guitarmonies, percussion, key overdubs written on the fly. Though the 10 songs that made the album have morphed and mutated thanks to the stages they’ve graced across the past decade, when I listen back to the original recordings, I still hear our boundless energy, hunger for the highway, and excitement to play with our friends—and our dearest wish, to pay homage to the Massachusetts scenes that welcomed us so warmly.”
The now Philadelphia-based rock quartet Speedy Ortiz have since released three more critically beloved records, including the just-released Rabbit Rabbit via Dupuis’ own label, Wax Nine, and has already earned massive support . The band’s first album in 5+ years, Rabbit Rabbit was co-produced by the band with Illuminati Hotties’ Sarah Tudzin (who also mixed the record), mastered by Emily Lazar & Chris Allgood at The Lodge (New York, NY), and was recorded between Rancho de la Luna (Joshua Tree, CA) & Sonic Ranch (Tornillo, TX). Rabbit Rabbit is also the first to feature longtime touring members Audrey Zee Whitesides (bass) and Joey Doubek (drums), who are now full time contributors alongside Sadie Dupuis(songwriter, vox, guitar) and Andy Molholt (guitar). To be fittingly released on the first of the month, Rabbit Rabbit is a nod to the superstitious incantation repeated on the first of each month to bring good fortune. Dupuis adopted this practice as a child coping with OCD and early trauma, so when she began to parse difficult memories for the first time in her songwriting, it felt like kismet to name her band’s fourth record after that expression of luck and repetition. But instead of re-treading old routines, the album finds Speedy Ortiz interrogating conventions, grappling with cycles of violence and destructive power dynamics with singular wit and riffs. The result is Speedy Ortiz at its most potent: melodically fierce, sonically mountainous, scorching the earth and beginning anew.
Photo Courtesy: Chris Carreon