Podcast - Ep. 17: Speedy Ortiz - Sadie Dupuis Interview
The title for alternative rockers Speedy Ortiz's new album, "Rabbit Rabbit," was born out of a superstition Sadie Dupuis, singer and lead guitarist, developed as a child to cope with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
"I say "Rabbit Rabbit" the first of every month, and I tweet it once a month in an ongoing tweet thread that is a bit of a rabbit hole, if you will. But when I first started to work on demos for this record, it happened to be the first of the month, so I opened up a Word document and just typed "Rabbit Rabbit" up top," Dupuis said.
It was not originally supposed to be the actual title of the record, but Andy Molholt, rhythm guitarist, told her he liked it. The suggestion to make it the name of the LP became especially fitting once Dupuis continued writing.
"As I started to get deeper into working on the lyrics of the record and the story behind the record, it does grapple with some childhood trauma," she said. "There were all kinds of rituals I did as a little kid. Thankfully, my OCD does not make me do those anymore, but I do still say "Rabbit Rabbit" as kind of a nice refreshing thing that starts the month with a clean slate."
One of the album's singles, "Scabs," was penned a year into the coronavirus pandemic in 2021.
"I basically wrote it at the post office," she said. "There were all kinds of issues going on for mail carriers, and the unions were opposing a number of changes ... We've all been through that 'support essential workers,' and people giving a bunch of lip service about how they're supporting essential workers, but, of course, you go to the grocery store or you go to the post office, and you hear people absolutely not supporting the essential workers, who are risking their health and safety to come support the community. So, witnessing a situation like that where folks in line were not being at all kind to a clearly overwhelmed worker just really infuriated me, so I wrote this little song in line, "
The album's closer, "Ghostwriter," is one Dupuis counts as a hopeful track.
"It is one of the last songs I wrote for the record, and it does feel like it encapsulates some of the things I was working through and the threads I was kind of trying to parse in the other songs. It's like a more optimistic song than maybe some of the other tracks – or, like. the whole rest of our discography."
"Rabbit Rabbit" is the fourth studio album from the Northampton, Massachusetts band, which formed more than a decade ago. During the band's run, they've supported alternative icons such as The Breeders, Foo Fighters and Liz Phair on tour, and even shared the stage with comedian Hannibal Buress on stage at SXSW in 2015.
Apart from Speedy Ortiz, Dupuis has released two solo LPs under the name Sad13 (stylized to resemble "Sadie" but pronounced "sad-thirteen"); the latest, "Haunted Paining," came out in 2020.
But she said she's not working on anything new with that project at the moment, as all of her musically creative energy was put into Speedy Ortiz's "Rabbit Rabbit," which was released on Sept. 1.
It's fitting that it came out on the first of the month, isn't it?
Credit: Shervin Lainez