Song of the Day: Speedy Ortiz - The Graduates

Song of the Day
05/25/2015
Jacob Webb
photo by Shervin Lainez

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with John Richards, is “The Graduates” by Speedy Ortiz from the 2015 album Foil Deer on Carpark Records.

Speedy Ortiz - The Graduates (MP3)

The product of a trio of Massachusetts local staples and an English lecturer at UMass-Amherst, Northampton, Massachusetts' Speedy Ortiz use wiry guitars and Sadie Dupuis' incisive lyrical voice to trace intriguing and empowering narratives. The roots of the project lie in a summer 2011, when Dupuis was teaching songwriting at a summer camp and recorded some songs of her own on her laptop. Not long after, Dupuis recruited a full band consisting of guitarist Matt Robidoux, drummer Mike Falcone, and bassist Darl Ferm to play shows. The band quickly became a mainstay on the local live scene while recording a series of EPs. The 2012 Sports EP brought the band its first attention outside of Massachusetts, and by the 2013 release of their first full-band LP, Major Arcana, they were a critical darling on both sides of the Atlantic. With Devin McKnight replacing Robidoux on guitar, 2014 was the band's busiest year yet, spending a significant part of the year on the road and recording Major Arcana's followup, Foil Deer. Foil Deer builds on Major Arcana's template by sharpening all of the things that album did well (Dupuis' pugnacious and reflective prose, stinging twin guitars), and this new focus shines through on "The Graduates". Carried by a pair of fluid guitar melodies, "The Graduates" plays its cards slowly, allowing Dupuis' signature wordplay (about falling for her now-boyfriend) to sit front and center. It's quite a bit of effort for Dupuis to say "I like you", but the between-the-lines performances on "The Graduates" makes the delivery of Dupuis' admission an interesting chapter to read.

Speedy Ortiz will be in Seattle this Wednesday, May 27th playing at Barboza and live on KEXP at 1:00 p.m.. Get tickets to that 21+ show here, keep up with the band at their website and Facebook, and watch the band play "Tiger Tank" during their last visit to KEXP in 2013.

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