Prolific musician and poet Sadie Dupuis announces her second book, Cry Perfume. Though she relocated to Philadelphia in 2016, Dupuis had never been there for more than two consecutive weeks, thanks to near-permanent touring—until 2020 forced a hiatus from travel. Over the course of that year and the next at home, Dupuis compiled and edited four years’ worth of poems she’d written on the road. The result is Cry Perfume: a stunning new collection of poetry about beauty, mourning and music. Cry Perfume, which will be out on October 4 via Black Ocean, is the follow-up to her 2018 debut poetry collection, Mouthguard, which earned universal praise.
It’s been ten years since Sadie Dupuis recorded and self-released the first Speedy Ortiz songs as a home-recorded solo project with her performing every instrument. Those early collections have remained largely off-line since appearing on Bandcamp in 2011, but in celebration of Speedy Ortiz’s tenth anniversary, they are widely available today for the first time. The Death of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker…Forever features the contents of Cop Kicker EP, The Death of Speedy Ortiz LP and bonus tracks …Forever entirely remixed and remastered, and it also includes previously unreleased tracks, reflective liner notes penned by Dupuis, and unearthed photos and journal scans from that era. The reissue features extensive production updates from Dupuis (now an established solo artist and producer with her newer project, Sad13), mixing from Speedy’s long term collaborator Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh), and mastering from Emily Lazar (HAIM, Liz Phair).
Also out today is an amazing music video for the band’s eponymous track, “Speedy Ortiz,” directed, edited and primarily shot by Dupuis. She’s known for her spooky music videos that pay homage to the horror film greats, like the recent “Cutco” video that was a shot-for-shot nod to Blair Witch Project. This new music video, however, might be her scariest yet. Says Dupuis: “These songs were recorded in 2011 on a dying laptop and remixed in 2021 on a different ailing laptop that died twice in the process. My friend Amar Lal suggested a music video in which I got revenge on a file-deleting computer. Turns out laptops are shockingly hard to destroy—even when they’re already broken—but it was still cathartic to try.”
It’s been ten years since Sadie Dupuis recorded and self-released the first Speedy Ortiz songs as a home-recorded solo project with her performing every instrument. Those early collections have remained largely off-line since appearing on Bandcamp in 2011, but in celebration of Speedy Ortiz’s tenth anniversary, they will be made widely available for the first time and reissued as a double LP entitled The Death of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker…Forever. Featuring the contents of Cop Kicker EP, The Death of Speedy Ortiz LP and bonus tracks …Forever entirely remixed and remastered, it will also include previously unreleased tracks, reflective liner notes penned by Dupuis, and unearthed photos and journal scans from that era. The reissue features extensive production updates from Dupuis (now an established solo artist and producer with her newer project, Sad13), mixing from Speedy’s long term collaborator Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh), and mastering from Emily Lazar (HAIM, Liz Phair). Pre-order The Death of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker…Forever, out digitally on November 12th and physically as a double LP on January 28th via Carpark Records.
In addition to the announcement of The Death of Speedy Ortiz & Cop Kicker…Forever, today the project releases the updated version of “Cutco” with the first-ever music video directed and edited by Dupuis. In true Sadie Dupuis style, the video is, of course, horror film-inspired. “Rewatching Blair Witch Project, I found the characters’ treatment of one another exemplary of the early 20s heedlessness I was venting about on ‘Cutco.’ So with some help from my Speedy bandmates Andy Molholt and Audrey Zee Whitesides, we made a shot-for-shot homage to a ’90s horror classic—with one delicious change to the formula,” she says.
“I can’t claim Speedy as a solo project anymore—I love working with the friends and bandmates who have played and recorded with me over the years—and I’m glad I now have Sad13 as an outlet for my home-produced concoctions. But I’m so proud of these 22 solo songs, which I put a lot of heart and time and sweat into in both 2011 and 2021, and it feels right to honor them by finally re-releasing them with Carpark (who I’ve worked with for pretty darn close to a decade, too) in a more widely listenable way,” says Dupuis in the record’s liner notes. “Happy 10th birthday, Speedy Ortiz, and thanks to everyone who’s been following along. Me at 23 and me at 32 love you very much.”
Sadie Dupuis is a magician of creativity. She fronts two bands, runs her own record label, released a book of poetry, and has established a poetry journal. She is known as much for her poetry and her music. On Friday September 25 she is releasing Sad13’s sophomore album Haunted Painting. The album includes guests Roberto Lange, Satomi Matsuzaki, Merrill Garbus and Rick Maguire. It was recorded and mixed in 6 studios with a host of women engineers. You’ve already seen the singles including “Hysterical”, “Oops…!”, “Ruby Wand” and “Ghost (of a Good Time)”,
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Haunted Painting?
SD: Not getting to play it live for the indefinite future, probably. A lot of pent up energy in making these complicated arrangements and not getting to show them off IRL!
FEMMUSIC: Haunted Painting is your first record with Wax Nine. What made you decide to work with them? How was the experience?
SD: Wax Nine is my own record label, an imprint with Carpark. I’ve been lucky to release albums by two of my favorites artists–Johanna Warren and Melkbelly–on the label, as well as co-release a compilation tribute to Adam Schlesinger with Father/Daughter Records earlier this year. We also launched a literary journal earlier this year which runs bi-weekly and features new poems and illustrations every issue.
FEMMUSIC: I was intrigued your choice to use women engineers on the album. Can you tell me what you were looking for in engineers? What made these 6 (Sarah Tudzin, Erin Tonkon, Maryam Qudus, Lily Wen, Anne Gauthier & Emily Lazar) stand out?
SD: Emily Lazar is a long-term collaborator for me; she’s mastered most of my records as well as some of my favorite artists, everyone from Beck to Dolly Parton. I hosted a panel for Sonos and She Shreds in 2018 on audio engineering, featuring Emily and three other amazing women in different corners of production. We are drastically underrepresented in music technology, comprising about 2% of engineers, and as a producer myself, it felt strange and hypocritical that I’d only hired men as tracking and mix engineers in the past.
Most of the engineers I hired on this record were friends, or friends of friends–I was a big admirer of Illuminati Hotties, Sarah Tudzin’s band, and Lily Wen I have known for 15 years. Erin Tonkon has produced heavy hitters like David Bowie, but also more contemporary bands I love, like Pixx and Lady Lamb. Maryam Qudus worked with several friends–Allison Crutchfield, Madeleine Kenney–and also fronts her own amazing project called Spacemoth. And I met Anne Gauthier on tour in Louisville, when Speedy got to check out her amazing studio La La Land. All are brilliant producers and people who I’d recommend to anyone and hope I’ll work with again once it’s safe.
FEMMUSIC: You recorded the album in-between touring with Speedy Ortiz and the Mouthguard book tour. After that constant frenzy how has not touring during COVID affected you? What do you miss? What has changed for you during it, both positive and negative?
SD: It’s strange adjusting to so many nights in a row at home! One of the best parts of tour is having a chance to see or play with faraway friends a couple times a year, and I really miss that. But one positive is that I have a lot more time to dedicate to projects that aren’t strictly my own, like the Adam Schlesinger compilation, the poetry journal, recording on some friends’ projects, as well as the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, which began work a few months ago.
FEMMUSIC: What was your vision with Haunted Painting? What was your favorite part of the arrangements?
SD: Since I recorded in five different studios and mixed in a sixth, I wanted to make good use of each place’s unique gear lists. Each song was arranged to include all the most interesting equipment at each studio. Trying to write specifically to a location (and to instruments I’m less familiar with writing for, like strings, woodwinds, lap steel, theremin) was a fun challenge.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique? Is it different from your poetry writing technique? Where do the 2 merge or separate?
SD: In composing music, I usually have a chord progression in mind. I demo drums and bass before anything else, then add synth parts, finally guitars, vocals last. So I’m trying to write the lyrics to fit on top of a mostly arranged song. Poetry I’m generally starting from scratch without any guidelines, especially not the built in constraints of trying to fit syllables to music.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
SD: I have thought about ‘The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ theme song almost every morning upon waking for like a decade, so unfortunately, I have to answer with that. I can’t wake up and not think of it. I hope to be free some day.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
SD: I don’t think misogyny is a challenge for any one person to “overcome” individually, especially if you are on the receiving end of it, but making sure to use whatever hiring power I have–crew on tour, opening bands–to make my corner of the industry more inclusive and representative of diverse music workers has been a priority for me, and makes touring a lot easier and happier.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
SD: There are a couple 2020 records I’m obsessed with – Ganser, Kitty, Yaeji, Backxwash, Yves Tumor, No Joy, Katie Dey, Allie X, Caroline Rose. I’d be over the moon to play or tour with any of those projects.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?
SD: Be cool for artists to actually make money off the streaming services that earn billions thanks to our work!
Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz and Sad13 releases “Ruby Wand” today. It is the latest single from her new album, as Sad13, called Haunted Painting coming out on Friday September 25. This is the first release on her label Wax Nine. The video was directed by Benjamin Stillerman.
Sadie says, “Ruby’s my birthstone, thought to alleviate negative emotional energy and benefit self-awareness. So a ‘Ruby Wand’ would be an instrument to conjure those changes. The song is about working through an OCD flare up in the wake of complicated grief—seeking control through small rituals, good and bad. Lyrically, it’s more literal than most of my songs, and the music mirrors that narrative. The synths are calculating but also fantastical, while the guitars and drums push against that clock in heavy chaos. Might as well also admit that ‘Ruby Wand’ is a weapon from Star Ocean, one of my very favorite RPGs.”