Speedy Ortiz: Real Hair

6 Apr

Speedy Ortiz’s debut album released just about half a year ago, and we loved it, as did many others. Their latest EP, Real Hair continues their style of lo-fi 90’s inspired alternative rock and their trend of making amazing music.

This album is wish fulfillment of everyday dreams. “Shine Theory” speaks of leaving neighbors scary notes while they’re away at work. That’s the first step. That’s a throwaway dream. A common, fondly held kind of dream, but still to be discarded in a moment as is, quite correctly, that lyric. This is the setting, this is how you begin to understand that she is you and that I am you and that none of us are very nice. Still, I have dreams and you have dreams and she has dreams and this album is the satisfaction of them all.

Like its predecessor, Real Hair is a love letter to the early 90’s. Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. are unabashedly drawn from, but form a support, not a straightjacket. “Oxygal” for instance makes creative use of form to create a sound that would be dissonant were Speedy Ortiz not so good at their music. The guitars are excellent and Sadie Dupuis’ vocals amaze. The music itself is rough, defying the shininess endemic to modern alternative rock and leaving in its stead an honest commitment to the sound. Hero worship is a desire, not to be the person worshiped, but to have accomplished what that person has done. Speedy Ortiz here have written the perfect kind of love letter, a letter from one peer to another.

The lyrics cover standards of everyman life. Self-loathing and toxic relationships have never been far from the indie songwriter’s pen, but Sadie Dupuis is brutally honest and human as she goes over them. Additionally, the lyrics are nothing short of poetic. Self-deception and raw desires and all of the pettiness and glories of personal lives are mixed in the whirlwind that is this EP. Every time that you have felt hurt and trapped not only by the world, but by yourself, and was unable to communicate even to yourself why you hurt and just wished you could talk so that maybe you could begin to understand, Real Hair is the fulfillment of those wishes.

Real Hair is a wonderful four songs, and I highly recommend that you listen to it.If you’ve ever wished for another 90’s alternative rock album with excellent music and whip-smart lyrics, it turns out that Real Hair can satisfy that wish as well.


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