Speedy Ortiz’s Rabbit Rabbit: Track by Track

Speedy Ortiz’s Rabbit Rabbit: Track by Track


Sadie Dupuis Chases Down Ghosts on New Solo LP
Sadie Dupuis Chases Down Ghosts on New Solo LP

After 5 years, Speedy Ortiz is lastly again. Right this moment, the Philadelphia-based quartet led by Sadie Dupuis launched Rabbit Rabbit. We will confidently say that that is the group’s most interesting work but. Speedy Ortiz hung out over the previous few years, recording in a number of states and crafting its fourth album. Forward of Rabbit Rabbit‘s launch, we caught up with the group and its 4 members broke down the tales and that means behind each track on the album.

Kim Cattrall

Sadie: The album opens with a nod to Jenny Hval’s e-book, Ladies Towards God—a novel about black metallic, witchcraft, nihilism, and collective motion (and artwork’s) energy to destabilize. The track’s about marveling on the magical issues in my life, and questioning how I’ve survived to see them—but in addition wanting to maintain out of that reward horse’s mouth. “Kim Cattrall” is an ode to compartmentalization, an instinctual gesture of self-preservation. Its namesake had just lately ditched the Intercourse and the Metropolis reboot, citing depressing experiences on the unique set. She served as a superb figurehead for a track about making higher selections. It was necessary to me that the guitars on Rabbit Rabbit convey melody and emotion simply as a lot as vocals do. Placing this guitar-intensive monitor first felt like a gap salvo. 

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Joey: One thing I actually like about Sadie’s album writing course of is that each voice has a story, and I believe that’s very true for the drums. There may be a lot feeling and melody for me to interpret and a lot room for me to precise it. “Kim” is a superb, bombastic instance. It’s heavy, it’s slicing, it’s intricate, it’s groovy, and the drums are always in movement. 

Audrey: I actually like this track as an opener as a result of a lot of the recording of it was very playful and bizarre. Apart from enjoying bass, I did numerous simply turning knobs—no-input mixing, operating tracks by a bunch of pedals and results and making them really feel woozy and unstable. The track actually hits, however there’s numerous chaos beneath the floor and the strain was nice to play with.

Sadie: Each morning at 6 a.m., a hen yodeled exterior my window at Rancho de la Luna. That yodel made it into this intro, alongside another magic-conjuring area recordings, and the no-input mixing from Audrey.

You S02

Sadie: For the file, I like L.A. lots. I additionally like choosing up on totally different cities’ ingrained site visitors patterns, and LA drivers actually do love to chop you off from the precise lane. It’s a simple metaphor for ruthlessness, somebody who tries to get forward of others when there’s no actual cause to do it. I’m glad (and fortunate?) that a lot of the musical heroes I’ve met have lived as much as my expectations. However every now and then, somebody I previously idolized lets me/us down. That’s what “You S02” is about: ex-punks who abandon their ethics once they turn into bosses or boss-adjacent.  In You’s second season, the present’s serial killer protagonist trades Brooklyn for L.A. and unsurprisingly stays the identical horrible particular person. (Which lets say about numerous musicians who make that very same transfer.) 

Audrey: We now have a track known as “Scabs,” however this one references some union-busting by a sure LA firm too, proper? I believe it’s nice to have two songs on one album bringing that stuff up.

Joey: Rhythm part actually exhibits up in these verses. *flames emoji*

Andy: I grew up with a barely warped perspective of Los Angeles, visiting usually with household as a result of my half-sister lives there, satisfied by age 13 that your complete West Coast tradition was irredeemably vapid. I got here to appreciate in later years that these emotions are higher directed towards the whole thing of humanity. Los Angeles is mostly a fantastic, unusual and sometimes mysterious metropolis, and I had among the best weeks of my life there firstly of this yr. This track, to me, one way or the other precisely captures that duality. It’s additionally one of the enjoyable to play on the file. One of many biggest challenges and most fun components of creating Rabbit Rabbit was adapting and inhabiting the superb demos that Sadie made, and “You S02” is one which I really feel ended up really firing on all cylinders.

Sadie: I attempted my greatest to channel the unhinged synth and guitar leaps of Brainiac, eternally an inspiration.

Scabs

Joey: I obsessed over this important drum beat for thus lengthy. Longer than anything on the file. It wanted extra element than simply dancey hi-hats the entire time. It’s funky, it’s medical and has made me a greater drummer studying tips on how to play it.

Sadie: I wrote the shell of “Scabs” standing in line within the publish workplace, the place Audrey and I share a P.O. field, after listening to prospects berate a mail employee. A yr into the pandemic, some folks nonetheless signified their assist for important employees with on-line posts and yard indicators, however not with their actions. This track made me mirror on organizing work I’d helped with for UMAW’s Justice at Spotify marketing campaign, in addition to the No Music for ICE anti-Amazon marketing campaign. We’d requested musicians to take a stance towards these corporations, and lots of did, however others chimed in with irritating “but you take part in society”-isms. Therefore the “don’t speak to me!” It was enjoyable listening to Audrey and Andy and Sarah and Ram do just a few octaves of that chorus—and to have Joey on vibraslap, since CAKE was an enormous affect on this monitor (n.b. John McCrea nearly did some BGVs, alongside Eve 6’s Max Collins). It’s one among a few songs to characteristic our authentic bassist Darl Ferm with additional guitar prospers—rhythmic touches that helped glue collectively the preparations.

Andy: To the parents yelling at employees on the publish workplace, or any particular person working in a public house: please cease! On the aircraft from Philadelphia to Joshua Tree, I used to be feeling fairly excited concerning the approaching periods—to lastly do one thing with music once more after years of doomscrolling on my sofa! To organize for this file, Sadie, Audrey, Joey and I rehearsed what felt like nearly day by day for a month at our observe house in Kensington. We performed the tracks reside again and again, workshopping them furiously, and I might usually file them on my cellphone to hear again to after the actual fact. Listening again on the aircraft, half out of boredom, I pitched the “Scabs” voice memo up +23 semitones. The outcome was…really demented. After displaying the remainder of the band, they agreed, and this haunted voice memo would make appearances all through the recording periods, performed to induce a hearty chortle between the crew. Sooner or later, it was floated because the intro of the track, and I’m thrilled that it caught. This is likely one of the deep guitar songs on the file, and I’m glad it ended up as the primary single. 

Audrey: Shout out to everybody who works at Sadie and I’s publish workplace. This track actually shortly turned one among my favorites to play reside as a result of it’s actually bouncy and adjustments time signatures so it by no means feels settled. I used to be attempting to play a dancy bassline at some components and usher in a Tina Weymouth really feel, nearly. Oh, additionally the half originally is our tribute to the fantastic style that’s nightcore, which all of us like to take heed to.

Plus One

Sadie: “Plus One” is about estrangement, selecting to interrupt connections that skew transactional. What started as a fingerpicked waltz in the end integrated extra post-hardcore-indebted riffs to offer unruly momentum. West Philly turns up some attention-grabbing avenue trash, and over the course of a month, I watched the complete contents of a jigsaw puzzle degrade in fascinating methods—soaked by rain, bleached by solar, blown up and down the block, trampled into smaller, fraying items. It was an IRL imagistic parallel to the story of a relationship that when match and not can. The intro samples a spam voicemail, harmonizing with itself, paired with a recording of a carwash we sat by with Tony, the fascinating proprietor of Sonic Ranch. 

Audrey: The best way the refrain guitar line sounds prefer it could possibly be from a blues track out of context however is remodeled into a very anthemic and massive post-hardcore line, and that hitting with the tremendous heavy drums, is such a superb second.

Joey: Tried my greatest to create an atypical, galloping tom half for the refrain strains that might carry as a lot propulsion as it might a steady tempo. Actually enjoyable to experiment right here, and I believe it pays off.

Andy: The carwash sounds good. I consider this as an archetypal Speedy Ortiz track, actually. It does all of the stuff. The aforementioned galloping tom half by Joey actually does give it a way of urgency and propulsion, and Audrey’s bass plus the repeating guitar mania will get actually scrungy. Have you ever ever considered donning one other particular person’s petticoat?

Cry Cry Cry

Andy: There’s a frigidness about “Cry Cry Cry” that will get me feeling a deep solitude. Like taking a superb lengthy look over an enormous chilly lake within the morning. I think about it might be good to take heed to on a stroll alone in nature. 

Joey: Most likely my favourite drum sound on the file. The acoustic drums are doubled up with midi triggers and it provides extra emphasis to my phrasing in the course of the verses.

Sadie: A bunch of artists have written or carried out “Cry Cry Cry” songs—this one’s in a lineage after Johnny Money, Peggy Lee, Connie Smith, and Roxy Music. My “Cry Cry Cry” was painful to work on, nevertheless it’s additionally the track I’m proudest of. It’s about my alienation from tears and tendency towards minimization within the wake of childhood abuse. I’m a good distance faraway from that point, however I squirm when I’ve to sit down with painful emotions. Studying Susan Rogers’ e-book This Is What It Sounds Like, she describes how sure sorts of music elicit emotion “from the neck up,” utilizing formal composition guidelines to engineer uncooked feeling. I used this track’s association to journey sonic wires that faucet me into vulnerability—sputtering drums, electrocuting synth, contrapuntal guitars climbing and tumbling, ominous choral vocals ramping up with out decision.

Ballad of Y & S

Sadie: I wrote this on an OP-1, parked exterior a espresso store in Richmond. Halfway by studying Purple Comet, the very lengthy however excellent Sylvia Plath biography by Heather Clark, I realized that Plath and Yoko Ono briefly shared a university boyfriend. I thought-about overlaps between these two artists: how their works had been overly interpreted by the lenses of their biographies and their male companions, regardless of Plath and Ono’s singular practices. This line of considering made me scrutinize my very own memoiristic songwriting and the present business pattern towards hyper-confessional artwork. Musically, it’s a semi-nod to the Yoko Ono album Roughly Infinite Universe. Of the 4 thousand guitars on right here, one is me enjoying a Casio Digital Guitar Synth—my goofiest and favourite overdub on this file.

Andy: Completely happy that we acquired to sneak some Vocaloid in right here. One factor I really like about enjoying on this band is that there’s by no means a worry of exploring melodic concepts, and this one is as densely packed as any with melodic layers.

Kitty

Audrey: The best way the very busy and complicated verse simply kinda slides into a very clear and fairly refrain nonetheless catches me off-guard even after I’m in the course of enjoying the track. Elliott Smith is a touchpoint that’s been introduced up earlier than, and the way in which this track combines that really feel with prog rock is so enjoyable.

Joey: Tried staying true to Sadie’s drum concepts for this one. It’s fairly sicko and took me eternally to study. The shortest songs are all the time the toughest. 

Sadie: I used to reside at a busy intersection—avenue races, screaming matches, gunshots, fireworks, all taking place near-nightly across the witching hour. That’s the backdrop right here, however “Kitty”’s message is pure: even after I’m barely sleeping, I hope my family members clock a superb evening’s relaxation. That is the primary track I demoed for the album, and it initially ended after the dual guitar solos. Proper after I completed it, I acquired a textual content from my buddy Steve Hartlett: “You’re on my record of prime 10 mates to by no means ghost if attainable.” So I went again and constructed that sentiment right into a modulated final verse. Once we had been engaged on guitars for this, Andy came to visit and we watched a bunch of Mars Volta reside movies—which seeped into this, no less than within the snaky and stuttery guitars, and the persistent percussion. I additionally love his woozy cassette synth solos within the intro, which sound like a twisted RPG.

Andy: This was a second of actual true collaboration between me and Sadie, with totally different sections of “my” guitar half being written by each of us. It was actually enjoyable to sit down collectively in my lounge and query, “What does this part need?” and go from there. Additionally had numerous enjoyable with the Onde Magnétique on this one, particularly in the course of the intro.

Who’s Afraid of the Tub

Sadie: I used the sonic palette of an album that captivated me as a teen and that I nonetheless love, Deftones’ White Pony, to react to the lyrics of its “Digital Tub,” during which a girl is randomly murdered by the track’s narrator. After my experiences with abuse and stalking, I engaged within the widespread trauma response of self-blame—however the shared think about tales like this isn’t the victims or something about their habits. The guilt lies with an individual who chooses to enact violence. “The tub” (Deftones’, and mine) stands in for the fantasies others use to justify hurt. Whereas I used to be monitoring this, my canine Lavender wailed nonstop. I wound up recording just a few layers of her cries and wove them in. Her first characteristic! At Rancho, I performed numerous the guitar layers on a Flying V for this one, and needed to face out the entrance display screen door and into the desert wind and fake I used to be enjoying an amphitheater or one thing with a view to get it proper.

Joey: This was one other instance of Sadie’s drum programming being so enjoyable and melodic that I needed to try to mimic it as a lot as attainable. One in all my favourite beats on the file. Once we had been all monitoring this collectively, there was a rogue background guitar pattern in our headphones that mysteriously turned as much as 420 decibels. I believe I cried. I nearly had a panic assault. We took pictures of mezcal and 10 minutes later I nailed the take. 

Andy: I felt so unhealthy when Joey’s headphones acquired maxed out. That was terrible. However “Tub” was actually enjoyable to work on. I stored viewing the guitar interaction as a “puzzle” that was revealing itself to me as we progressed. I’ve lengthy been obsessive about songs which have a “freckle,” as in a component that occurs as soon as and by no means once more, and “Tub” incorporates maybe my favourite timing change on the file when one part is inexplicably longer than regular. 

Ranch vs. Ranch

Sadie: Each ‘90s-set interval piece is scored by the indie and radio rock of my youth. It’s enjoyable to be the goal for nostalgia syncs (thanks, Beef supervisors), nevertheless it’s additionally a mindfuck to be 30 years out from that decade, now as classic because the ‘50s in Again to the Future. I turned 33 whereas penning this file, and I’ll be 35 by the time it’s out. Extra issues harm than they used to, however I’m additionally getting scarier, in a superb and highly effective method. I attempted to jot down a soundtrack-y homage to the bands I’d needle-drop in my fantasy ‘90s-to-Y2K-set film—Imperial Teen, The Folks Implosion, Enon—after watching the horror present Model New Cherry Taste. So the working title was “Cherry Taste” however there have been just a few too many TV references already for my consolation. 

Andy: The primary Speedy Ortiz track that I (unintentionally) named. We knew we needed to rename it, and stored joking about “Spy vs. Spy” in the course of the writing session. Sooner or later I blurted out “Ranch vs. Ranch,” and once we realized the correlation between Sonic Ranch and Rancho de la Luna, the title caught. 

Audrey: Once we had been at Sonic Ranch monitoring overdubs, we needed Andy to make use of a particular organ in a unique studio than we had been utilizing, so we waited till late one evening when the session there had wrapped and actually shortly all ran over to get some organ tracks as fast as attainable. I simply keep in mind sitting within the management room listening to Andy play a very lovely organ and searching round like, “Yeah, this can be a good place to be.” The track’s title ended up a reference to the 2 actually particular locations we made this file at, Rancho de la Luna and Sonic Ranch, and so this one will all the time really feel like a love letter to moments like that late-night organ to me.

Sadie: Each ‘90s-set interval piece is scored by the indie and radio rock of my youth. It’s enjoyable to be the goal for nostalgia syncs (thanks, Beef supervisors), nevertheless it’s additionally a mindfuck to be 30 years out from that decade, now as classic because the ‘50s in Again to the Future. I turned 33 whereas penning this file, and I’ll be 35 by the time it’s out. Extra issues harm than they used to, however I’m additionally getting scarier, in a superb and highly effective method. I attempted to jot down a soundtrack-y homage to the bands I’d needle-drop in my fantasy ‘90s-to-Y2K-set film—Imperial Teen, The Folks Implosion, Enon—after watching the horror present Model New Cherry Taste. So the working title was “Cherry Taste” however there have been just a few too many TV references already for my consolation. 

Joey: Love the Propellerheads / Stabbing Westward vibe. I used to be capable of sneak in some little drum solos and everyone went together with it. 

Sadie: Recording this included one other of my favourite moments of the entire session: I performed the guitar solo right into a Boss Slicer whereas Joey manipulated the pedal along with his fist to chop in new rhythmic patterns. 

Emergency & Me

Sadie: The “emergency” is battle avoidance and the frustration of colliding with different folks’s defensiveness if you’re looking for decision. However the track can also be about on-line wellness grifters who’ve meme-ified each psychological well being prognosis; remedy communicate is unhelpfully discharged to pardon folks from their unhealthy habits or beliefs. Audrey performed an eight-string bass within the intro which broke a string on her first take; fortunately, that take was excellent, and its eerie warble is one among my favourite sounds on this file. It was additionally fun-slash-funny doing Skinny Lizzy-style guitarmonies with Andy.

Andy: I particularly love the intro right here and Audrey’s very unusual melody. Additionally, the outro was sculpted throughout our observe house periods and finessed by a suggestion from Joey. I might counsel that in these methods, that is probably the most collaborative Speedy Ortiz file that I’ve been part of, and I actually assume the album advantages from these loving touches.

The Sunday

Sadie: Once I was seventeen, my mother introduced residence a drum package as a result of she thought it would assist me take care of anger, then my highschool bandmate Dana taught me to play. Drums are the sound I hear for first in most recordings and play a heavy function in articulating emotion in my songs, so that they had been often the primary instrument I wrote components for on this file. Other than the reminiscence of drum observe, this track is about feeling caught in melancholy, dropping full days to catatonia… after which feeling lifted out by music. We begged David Catching so as to add lap metal to this, and watching him file his half was very transferring. It felt like an embodiment of what I used to be singing about: the ability of music to remodel a temper or second for the higher.

Joey: I believe I can communicate for everybody in saying that watching David monitor was simply a prime second of recording.  This track was enjoyable for me. Sadie’s like, “Document a complete drum overdub however make it just a little totally different,” and that first take of an overdub is what you hear, hard-panned in one of many ears. Was very releasing to play unfastened, wing it, and see what occurred.

Andy: The black sheep of the album, in my view. Essentially the most vibe-y, probably the most acoustic. It hits me in a deep method, listening again to it. It feels naturalistic to me. I additionally relate just a little too strongly to the theme of being paralyzed by melancholy, sadly, which makes this monitor hit even tougher. And sure, David’s take was each mesmerizing and transferring for all of us. After spending over every week with this new buddy, and forming what felt like an on the spot and deep bond, having the privilege and pleasure of him enjoying on a track and developing along with his components in a matter of minutes was really a second of magnificence.

Brace Thee

Sadie: This was one of many final songs I wrote for Rabbit Rabbit and its photos are extra surreal than among the different tracks: the scent of enraged horses, a glove that strangles, a neon moon illuminating apocalypse. In flashbacks to outdated wounds I’ve wished there was somebody to carry accountable, however anybody that would shed mild is not in my life. I can solely ask unanswerable questions. The uncomfortably gradual tempo was designed as an affront, and the way in which the timbres shift— glitching harmonics to baritone growth to vocal screaming—is supposed to mirror how a reminiscence can warp from totally different aspects of perspective. Devin McKnight, Speedy’s earlier guitarist and one among our favourite musicians and mates, added some epic and extraterrestrial guitars to this one, which actually make the finale. 

Andy: The gradual burn. I used to be glad when Devin added his components to this track, as a result of there have been just a few sections that vexed me. What does this track need? It was to take its time; it desires to construct. The notorious haunting piano at Rancho de la Luna together with some 12-string acoustic guitar actually lends a hand to the vibe of the choruses on “Brace Thee,” and I used to be fairly glad about the way in which this one turned out. 

Joey: The directions had been: when the amount escalates, give your greatest Kris Kuss. Extraordinarily tall order however tried my greatest. I did possibly 7 or 8 takes of simply that quick, loud part. 

Ghostwriter

Andy: One of many first from the file to debut reside. When a track nobody has heard earlier than will get the heads to bob, that’s a superb signal. I watched a lot of the TV present Ghostwriter after I was 8 years outdated at my babysitter’s home (we had no cable, so PBS it was.) Once we had been monitoring, I attempted to think about a multicolored blob floating across the room, displaying us the way in which. I believe our “Ghostwriter” does the heavy lifting of ending Rabbit Rabbit on each a high and low be aware, concurrently a downer and an higher. That is how I like to consider your complete album, always browsing the highs and lows seeking a steady place to land.

Audrey: A few of this track, particularly the verses, feels extra like “Meant to Stay” by Switchfoot than it does just like the issues I believe folks normally examine Speedy Ortiz to, for me no less than. I actually love that and hope we captured the full pleasure I get after I hear stuff like that. 

Joey: I’ve all the time been on the smashy-crashy spectrum of drumming kinds so from the second I heard the demo I used to be desperate to work on this track.  It felt nostalgic to me however I couldn’t fairly place why. Weeks into rehearsing I noticed I used to be simply attempting to duplicate Jimmy Chamberlin licks, like I did after I was 14. 

Sadie: In planning the “Ghostwriter” music video, I noticed numerous the lyrics check with water—a drawbridge spanning a river, waterlogged slime, the horror of the rising ocean. There’s additionally a pun on “The Tune of the Wandering Aengus,” a Yeats poem a few magic fish that transforms into a lady, and a fisherman who dedicates his whole life to discovering her. Touring can equally really feel like an uncatchable goal. It’s one thing I aggressively throw myself into to keep away from stillness and the self-reflection quiet brings. I’m not all the time good at choosing my battles, however the mantra behind this track is to broach much less conditions with fury, to movement with my environment—or no less than to strive. 

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