Home Music Critique of Speedy Ortiz’s ‘Rabbit Rabbit’: A Sonic Exploration

Critique of Speedy Ortiz’s ‘Rabbit Rabbit’: A Sonic Exploration

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Critique of Speedy Ortiz’s ‘Rabbit Rabbit’: A Sonic Exploration

In the hauntingly introspective song ‘Ghostwriter’, found at the end of Speedy Ortiz’s latest creation ‘Rabbit Rabbit’, Sadie Dupuis questions the very essence of emotional resolution with, “I’m tired of being angry. But how does one proceed to move forward or release?” This motif of introspection is woven into the tapestry of the entire album—a glorious return after a five-year hiatus—where Dupuis, flanked by guitarist Andy Molholt and new official bandmates, bassist Audrey Zee Whitesides and drummer Joey Doubek, travels intricate sonic landscapes. They meander through poetic narratives and melodic complexities without overreliance on any single aspect. Dupuis’s lyrical dexterity confronts past scars, looming environmental threats, the pitfalls of overworking, and layers of deceit. Despite the weight of these themes, the cathartic nature of the songs juxtaposes the strains Dupuis voices towards the album’s conclusion: a recognition of unspoken progress amidst the struggle for change.

At first listen, Speedy Ortiz’s offerings might come across as complex tapestries of emotion and sound, somewhat aloof. Song titles, derived from varied facets of popular culture—from television to celebrities to indie bands—offer oblique entry points into Dupuis’s intricate thoughts. Some songs present astute industry critique, eschewing direct personal anecdotes. Still, through this maze, Dupuis’s personal resonance emerges undiminished. Confronting the weariness of creative pursuits in the assertive ‘Kim Cattral’, she begins to dissect the relentless questioning around dedication to one’s craft. Meanwhile, ‘Ballad of Y & S’ offers homage to the raw expressiveness of artists like Yoko Ono and Sylvia Plath. Dupuis claims her place among them: “An artist for hire, salvaging from the embers. Working for those in search of meaning—you can seek it in my words.”

Dupuis’s narratives are arresting even without her direct involvement. Arrogant characters pepper the album, such as the hollow archetype dissected on ‘You S02’. Her descriptions brim with a nuanced precision that masquerades as empathy, only to deliver a sharper indictment. With ‘Scabs’, inspired by an overheard exchange at the post office amidst budget cuts, Dupuis explores the tension between personal convenience and genuine ethical commitments. It teems with a vengeful longing that never culminates but instead leaves us pondering: “If we’re grown-ups, why over scrutinize every belief?” It’s through such murky reflections and the complementary instrumentation that Speedy Ortiz shines a light on the complexities of life and art, particularly evident in ‘Who’s Afraid of the Bath’, a rumination on the duality of artistry and violence.

Dupuis doesn’t just confront her inner conflicts—she traverses alongside them. It’s the heart-rendingly candid tracks, especially those nearer to the album’s closure, that elevate ‘Rabbit Rabbit’. ‘Cry Cry Cry’ echoes another emotive sensation akin to Pom Pom Squad’s ‘Crying’, as it dissects the challenges of emotional articulation: “Journeying down sorrow’s trail, yet never pausing to witness its depths.” From her youth, she has engaged different mediums for expression. In ‘The Sunday’, she reminisces about her initial encounters with drumming during her teens, connecting past to present: “As Sunday shifts to Monday, and the past to the now, we evolve—no need for explanations. Yet within that growth lies wonder, and Sadie Dupuis stands testament to it.”

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