Since this week will be cut short by Thanksgiving, I only had one prime slice pick: Speedy Ortiz’s newest album Twerp Verse. Although beginning the recording process all the way back in the fall of 2016, the band decided to rethink a lot after election day (for obvious reasons). As a band that prides themselves on releasing politically driven music from their very first project, Speedy Ortiz felt that they couldn’t release some of the tracks that had focused on more frivolous topics. The title “Twerp Verse” is a phrase coined by front woman Sade Dupius to describe “when a musician guests on a track and says something totally outlandish – like a Lil Wayne verse – but it becomes the most crucial part.” This album acts as one big “Twerp Verse” for Speedy Ortiz, holding some pretty substantial messages about the struggles faced in the current, skewed world we live in.
Tracks like “Lean In When I Suffer” discuss the overwhelming responsibility to be informed and knowledgable enough to “try to help people grow out of their ignorant, problematic behavior.” The vocals are imperfect and almost spoken, but fit in perfectly between frequent harmonies and stand-out electric guitar licks. “Villain” is another catchy song with a deceptively intense subject: consent and assault. The lyrics are important and scary to talk about, but Dupius does it in a tasteful way with lines like “I want to know if a ‘no’ means ‘alright’ / He looks past my answer / Did he earn the right? / No way.”
There is so much to unpack in this album, and I think everyone should really pay attention to the lyrics and messages that Speedy Ortiz worked to hard to convey. If you want to see these guys live, you’re in luck! They will be performing next Tuesday, November 27th at the Sinclair in Cambridge. Be sure to snag some tickets now using the link below before they sell out- hope to see you there!
Band page: https://speedyortiz.com/