Speedy Ortiz—Feelin’ Philadelphia

It’s safe to say that Philadelphia-via-Boston indie rock act Speedy Ortiz has had quite the run during the last decade. Each record they’ve put out has been met with more and more acclaim to the point where they’ve topped various end of the year “best of” lists. Pop superstar Lizzo even lent her voice on a remix of “Puffer” off of their 2015 sophomore release Foil Deer. We can’t forget that time comedian and actor Hannibal Buress was their drummer during a performance at SXSW that same year. They’ve also gotten to share stages with Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus, The Breeders, Ex Hex, Mitski, and Foo Fighters, among others.

The quartet will be at House Of Independents on November 29 to celebrate four years of the place being one of the top music venues in Asbury Park. Members Sadie Dupuis, Mike Falcone, Darl Ferm, and Andy Molholt are going to be rolling through as part of a big party. It promises to be a stacked night of music as they will be sharing the stage with punk supergroup Beach Rats and Philly DIY rock stalwarts, Restorations. Singer-songwriter Joe Michelini’s moniker American Trappist, and local Asbury Park punks Well Wisher will also be rounding out the bill.

The band’s relocation to The City Of Brotherly Love mostly had to do with a mix of Dupuis outgrowing her surroundings and a bunch of her friends in Massachusetts moving away. She found a bunch of her friends in Philadelphia and that’s why she made the move.

“I lived in Western Massachusetts for a long time,” she mentions of where she was before she headed to her current surroundings. “I was taking a graduate program there and the friends I made while in that program moved away along with people in the Boston music scene moving away. While I love that area and that city, I don’t really have any geographical ties to either. With touring as much as I do throughout the year, I wanted to be closer to friends when I’m home. That’s pretty much why I moved to Philly and continue to live there.”

Recently, Dupuis has been involved in the creation of the website NoMusicForICE.com which calls for musicians to pledge to not work with Amazon due to their cooperation with the United States’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. It’s currently only available to musicians but she says that music enthusiasts might be able to get involved at some point.

“We haven’t opened up the site to fans just yet, although obviously they can go through the site and see which artists they like who have taken the pledge,” she says on the website and the purpose it serves. “It has been accruing support with signatures and we started it because Amazon announced a music festival, which is sort of a new move for them. A lot of artists were getting blowback for playing it along with a lot of conversation and anger towards the musicians. To me, I felt that anger and conversation should be focused on why Amazon is more of a problem than the other corporations that work with musicians in this way. I emailed a couple people I know who have more of an organizing background than I have.

“I hashed out some of my concerns and thoughts on how we can be productive,” Dupuis continues. “We decided on an idea for the site to get more visibility towards the issue and we went from there. There’s usually never any transparency with who is sponsoring a festival. In this case, we want to make it known about Amazon’s contract with ICE and how it affects so many people. This isn’t just musicians doing this out of the blue, we’re doing it in the context of what’s right and the things that contribute to it being a big issue. Hopefully more musicians sign the pledge and get involved.”

Along with fronting and playing guitar in Speedy Ortiz, Dupuis also has a solo project called Sad13. It’s more pop oriented, which you can check out by listening to the debut album Slugger that came out in 2016. She enjoys how she can artistically convey what’s going on in her mind through sound while having very little limitations.

“I do think that there’s an element of artistic freedom that goes with Sad13,” Dupuis says on her music. “Primarily, I’m the only one playing on those songs and I’m writing every part, there’s no notes that don’t come from my brain and it’s the same with the production ideas. It feels very much like how my brain sounds like fully alone. The songs are similar to what goes on with Speedy Ortiz, the only difference is with the band there’s a negotiation with how it’s going to be played and what Mike, Darl, and Andy can contribute to change the parts. I’m certainly more full-speed ahead with Sad13, due to me being the only person writing the songs.”

As hinted earlier, before pursuing music full-time, Dupuis got a masters in poetry while attending the University of Massachusetts’ Amherst campus. It reflects a little bit in her lyrics, but it benefitted her in the way she looks at sonnets and structure.

“The main thing I learned the most while getting my MFA was how to be a really good editor,” she mentions on the experience. “This pertained to both myself and other people. Having three years to work on and practice writing in that kind of setting made me a really strong editor of myself.”

After the upcoming show, Dupuis plans on putting out a new solo release. It’ll be available to stream, listen, and consume sooner than people think. “I’ve been working on a new Sad13 record for the past few months so I’m hoping that it’ll be out by the end of the year.”

Be sure to catch Speedy Ortiz at House Of Independents in Asbury Park on November 29!