Sad13’s “Slugger” Is Sugar Pop About Serious Issues

Sadie Dupuis delights with elegant, serpentine melodies and thoughtful lyrics.


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Not surprisingly, the winning solo debut of Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis (aka Sad13) bears strong similarities to her work with the band, especially in the elegant, serpentine melodies and thoughtful lyrics, which are inclined to encircle a subject rather than take a direct approach. But there are also significant differences. The crunchy, distorted guitars that give the group a thrilling zing are less prominent here, often giving way to bright synth textures suitable for breezy sugar-pop. More crucially, Dupuis sometimes opts for a startling bluntness, affirming the need for sexual consent in the bubbly “Get a Yes,” declaring, “If you want to, you gotta get a yes,” and celebrating sisterhood and self-determination on the stomping “Hype,” exclaiming, “I just wanna hype my best girls.” As always, she’s a graceful and charismatic singer, projecting appealing poise and bemusement even when the beats are big and the issues deadly serious.