Sadie Dupuis, lead singer for guitar rockers Speedy Ortiz, knew she wanted to make a pop record.
Just before recording “Slugger,” her debut solo effort as Sad13, Dupuis did a fundraising tour with Speedy Ortiz for the Girls Rock Camp Foundation, where she donated profits to the organization and met the some of the campers. “I was thinking of these kids and also myself as a kid,” she says. “[This record]’s a response to some of the stuff I listened to when I was 13.”
The self-produced, 11-track album, which she says was inspired by alt-pop like Blood Orange and Solange, dives into empowering themes like consent, finding one’s identity and female friendship. It’s a sweet, glittery collection of songs full of witty lyrics and video game-esque synths.
We chat with Dupuis about switching from guitars to synths, self-producing the record and learning more about herself through “Slugger.”
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Musically, what was it like having keyboards and synths as your instrument of choice?
I’ve been playing guitar as my primary instrument in a live setting for like 15 years at this point. So it’s been fun to have less of a comfort zone on your instrument. I feel like on guitar, I have limitations because I don’t want to do things that I perceive as easy or obvious even if they fit the song well whereas I don’t have those hang-ups with the synth or keyboard.
How did “Get a Yes” come together?
Sometimes, songs write themselves pretty quickly. That was one of those. It kind of has this weird, silly feeling to it. I just tried to make it sound like a really fun song, especially because I wanted to do a song that was a positive celebration of affirmative consent so I wanted to make it sound as pop as possible.
Was it difficult to self-produce the album?
I think it’s not as difficult as one might imagine. I felt that it was important to give myself that kind of credit for the record just so that more people can see that it’s not something that has to be daunting or not something that you have to go into the studio and save up the money to do. This kind of record, I knew I could make at home. I did it in like two weeks. It wasn’t that hard.
Through writing and recording “Slugger,” did you come to any new revelations about relationships and love for yourself?
I think sometimes you’re channeling some of your own feelings that maybe are a bit subliminal. At least I am in my own lyrical process. I made this record in January, but coming back to it now — I don’t know if I totally understood everything I was writing at the time, but sometimes it makes more sense in hindsight.
What message do you hope listeners will receive from the album?
The thing that is most exciting to me is that it’s 99-percent home recorded. If anybody felt inspired to record themselves after hearing this record, I think that would be the coolest thing for me.