Sadie Dupuis is the Philadelphia-based guitarist, songwriter & singer of rock band Speedy Ortiz. In 2016, Dupuis debuted Sad13, the politically-minded pop project she self-produces, with “Basement Queens,” a co-feature with Lizzo. Home-recorded debut LP Slugger was quick to follow, about which Shrill’s Lindy West wrote: “Sadie steers Slugger with a serene sure-footedness…musical touchstones are vast and varied: contemporary pop a la Charli XCX, Santigold, Kelela; folk songwriters Karen Dalton and Connie Converse; ‘90s trip-hop; riot grrrl (duh); plus Sad13’s feminist indie and punk contemporaries. This is fun music about real shit.” Sad13’s headlining international tour dates were supported by artists including Vagabon, Stef Chura, and Big Joanie; in turn, Dupuis was invited to open for heroes Deerhoof and Ted Leo, as well as a slot after Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at Glastonbury.
In the intervening years, promoting a Speedy Ortiz album and her poetry book Mouthguard has kept Sadie on the road and away from her basement studio. “WTD?” is the first new Sad13 music since 2017’s “Sooo Bad” (also via Adult Swim Singles). The title comes from the chorus’ hook, “What’s the drama?” Dupuis explains the drama like so: “It’s about eco-fascism, climate gentrification, and the depopulation of species, caused by human selfishness and industrial greed.” This apocalyptic inevitability is paired with octave-spanning guitar riffs, buzzy synth layers, and a mid-song electric sitar solo. It’s also the first Sad13 song to feature live members Zoë Brecher on drums and Audrey Zee Whitesides on bass, and was tracked at Studio G in Brooklyn with engineer Erin Tonkon (David Bowie, Esperanza Spaulding) with mixing by Sarah Tudzin (Weyes Blood, Illuminati Hotties) at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, TX.
Apart from the Sad13 project, Sadie heads the record label Wax Nine (Melkbelly, Johanna Warren), which recently launched a paid online poetry journal to help support writers through coronavirus. She is also an organizing member of the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers, which publicly launched in early May with a congressional letter demanding CARES Act unemployment benefits to be extended to musicians through 2020, regardless of immigration status. You can find out more here: unionofmusicians.org.