Sad13 | Slugger
What Sad13’s premiere album, Slugger, may lose in approachability is quickly supplemented by songs so unique they cannot be forgotten without a good effort. Each song has a rough edge, a DIY feel, and yet a modern and electronic presence can always be felt. The tracks, while certainly part of the modern pop scene, stand out like the sore thumbs that won the game.
Speedy Ortiz’s lead vocalists, Sadie Dupuis, steps out into her own under the new name Sad13. Producing the album independently, Dupuis wrote and recorded the songs that make up Slugger over a two week stint in Philadelphia. The tongue in cheek atmosphere of Slugger comes directly from Dupuis’ open wounds after walking away from an abusive relationship with her head held high in the air. With all this in mind, the biggest mistake in Slugger is its best feature, the first song, “<2”. The track features the album’s best hooks and a rhythm that slips into a pop chant. The track sets up anticipation for the album that awaits. An album that is full of good listens, but few that hit the bar established by “<2”.
The album’s other two saving graces are “Fixina” and “Get a Yes”. “Fixina” provides the unique sound Slugger introduces itself with and at the same time stands out as its own body of work. “Get a Yes” shines bright as one of the more socially charged songs, a track made to remind the unaware of the need for consent before sex. The song’s message is clear and reminds that the album was formed with clear goals.
Overall Slugger stands out as a strong first appearance from Sad13, an album full of experimental pop and social analysis that will make listeners keep an eye out for the next edition. While the album presents itself in a way not all will want to follow, it also stands out. A guiding factor lest these tracks move to the back of the mind as new material flows out into the world.