Sad 13 “Slugger”
Sad 13 is actually Sadie Dupuis, who is the singer of the grunge-pop band Speedy Ortiz. That’s a band who have actually passed us by (although we might make amends for that after listening to this). We were first intrigued by this release when we saw a comparison to Jenny Lewis. She’s one of our favourite solo artists and, of course, was also in a pop/rock band before hitting the solo road.
The first song on this album, “Less Than 2” opens up with an almost sci-fi sound before moving into an engaging electro pop style. Along with tracks like “The Sting” and the brilliant “Tell You What”, these are songs which certainly make the reference to Jenny Lewis appropriate. They have a melodic and immediately appealing sound with enchanting, almost icy, vocals. However, there is also a sense of edge to the songs. It makes you realise that the lyrics have a deeper and often less cheery sound than the melodies might suggest.
There’s also a bit of ‘bite’ about the songs. So on “Fixina” there’s a twisted feel behind the sparse sound. Indeed, it’s the sparseness that makes many of these tracks so different. It’s a sign of confidence in comparison to other acts who feel compelled to overload you with noise.
Another key thing about this album, is that it is not one dimensional. So you can move from a more crunching indie rock band sound of “Line Up” to the brilliant dreamy pop of “Just A Friend”. Tracks like “Krampus (In Love)” and the awesome “Hype” will clumsily get captured under the indie pop label. But there is far more to them than that, and there is certainly nothing pop about some of the lyrics in “Hype”!
This is a really great album. You know when Madonna surprised everyone by releasing the great electro pop of ‘Music’. This is like Sad13 has taken that influence but backed by an indie rock band. This is really a gem of a release and we can only guess that the reason it isn’t featuring on loads of end of year best of lists is that it was released a little too late to make the cut. It’s definitely one of the must own albums of 2016.