Speedy Ortiz Major Arcana

CAK87

Jul 9th, 2013

On their debut full-length, Western Massachusetts’ Speedy Ortiz manages a bit of magic by conjuring the spirits of classic American indie rock, while twisting those ghosts into new shapes. It’s easy to hear the influences of Helium, Jawbox, and Chavez on this album, as well as nods to their contemporaries including Grass is Green, Pile, and Roomrunner. Sweet vocal harmonies run up against gnarly distortion, aided by basic, chunky bass parts and heavy, fill-laden drums.

The album was recorded in a few days in November at Justin Pizzoferrato’s (Dinosaur Jr., Chelsea Light Moving) studio, Sonelab, a huge space in an old factory in Easthampton, Mass. The sessions went from very early in the day until very late at night, with the band taking its time to experiment. Pizzoferrato’s collection of old distortion pedals were utilized on both the record’s guitars and vocals.

The theme of the occult and the supernatural runs deep through Major Arcana, inspired by singer-guitarist Sadie Dupuis’ reading on black magic. Dupuis’ sometimes knotty and abstract lyrics bring to mind fellow wordsmith Stephen Malkmus, while referencing horror film tropes, chemistry, and neuroscience. Major Arcana’s literal translation is “major mysteries,” a phrase from tarot cards. “I don’t write in a narrative way and am more concerned with use of language than meaning,” Dupuis says, “so I like the open-endedness of the title and the way it invites interpretation.”

Tracklisting

1. Pioneer Spine
2. Tiger Tank
3. Hitch
4. Casper (1995)
5. No Below
6. Gary
7. Fun
8. Cash Cab
9. Plough
10. MKVI

Audio

Other Info

PRESS CONTACTS
North America: dave@canvasmediapr.com
Europe: andy@carparkrecords.com
Japan: ko@hostess.co.jp
Australia/New Zealand: carly@stopstartmusic.com

MAJOR POINTS
• Publicity by Solid Gold
• College Radio Promotion by Terrorbird
• Commercial Speciality Radio Promotion by Distiller
• Summer North American tour dates
• Music videos in the works
• Limited pressing of 300 teal-colored LPs
• Vinyl includes free digital download

MORE SPEEDY ORTIZ
Speedy Ortiz Facebook
Speedy Ortiz Twitter

UPCs
LP: 677517008715
CD: 677517008722
Digital: 677517008753

VIDEOS
Tiger Tank
No Below

 

Press Photos

Photos by Shawn Brackbill:
(click for hi-res photo)

SpeedyMA_Brackbill1SpeedyMA_Brackbill2SpeedyMA_Brackbill3SpeedyMA_Brackbill4

Photos by Noe Richards:
(click for hi-res photo)


Artist Bio

From their start as a full band, Speedy Ortiz found a warm reception in the Bay State’s rock underground, from Boston’s basements to Western Massachusetts’ experimental scene. In March 2012, the band recorded and self-released a two-song single (“Taylor Swift” / “Swim Fan”) with Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Hole) and Justin Pizzoferrato (Chelsea Light Moving, Dinosaur Jr.). Establishing both creative momentum and a fanbase earned through near-constant U.S. touring, they continued with the Sports EP, a loosely conceptual 10” released on Exploding In Sound that June.

Their debut album Major Arcana, named Best New Music by Pitchfork, saw the evolution of Speedy Ortiz from a lo-fi project into a wholly collaborative effort, marked by Darl Ferm’s thick bass lines, drummer Mike Falcone’s boisterous fills, and the counterbalance between guitarist Matt Robidoux’s anti-melodic playing and frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s angular riffing. The end result is a band able to distill their influences and impulses into something at once dissonant and melodic.

For their upcoming Real Hair EP, Speedy Ortiz has teamed up with Paul Q. Kolderie once again, resulting in a collection brushed with effected guitars and pop-conscious vocals. Here Dupuis attempts to untangle concerns about misrepresentation of identity in four songs delivered with the band’s signature abrasive clarity. The band will support the EP on the road into 2014 with a January southeastern string of All-Ages shows with Boston friends Grass is Green, their first European tour in February, and supporting slots with the Breeders and Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks.