“The Graduates” is one of the best songs on the new Speedy Ortiz album, Foil Deer. In the music video, the band takes some strange pills that make them hallucinate a kind of cute, mostly creepy giant rabbit. When their trip ends, they dose some innocent bystanders at a restaurant. It’s a perfect example of their music: charming, funny, and warped. But, I have a serious issue with a lyric Sadie Dupuis sings during the chorus: “I was the best at being second place/ But now I’m just the runner-up.”
This just isn’t true.
On their latest release, Dupuis once again shows off her style of twisted, creeping guitar lines. They perfectly compliment her vocals, deadpan with a hint of twang. The four-piece from Boston got some rave reviews from their SXSW performances, one which featured comedian Hannibal Buress sitting in on drums. Stephen Malkmus has been spotted wearing the band’s t-shirt, and they currently have tour dates which reach into October, including a sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday.
And, of course, their sound is great. It’s a unique departure from chord-driven rock, with unexpected melodies that range from light and fun (“Swell Content”) to heavy (“Homonovus” and “Ginger”) to downright sinister (“Puffer”).
Speedy Ortiz is a serious musical contender. So when Sadie Dupuis sings she’s just a runner-up, I can’t take her too seriously. But when she proclaims in “Raising The Skate” that “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss,” that I definitely believe.