Interview: Sadie Dupuis – 'It's very possible to make a pretty cool record at home on a small budget if you follow your own artistic instinct'
A debut solo album featuring consent, friendship and surviving
Speedy Ortiz linchpin Sadie Dupuis, aka Sad13, is discussing the impetus behind her excellent Slugger: 'I don't know if the record itself had a specific manifesto but I certainly had thematic goals for each song, most of which fit under the broader category of "the world would be a better place if there were more songs about affirmative consent / the power of friendship / surviving abuse".'
And lo, Dupuis has made it so. From the kaleido-rock sisterhood love-in of 'Hype', to the tech-pop groove of 'Get a Yes' ('I say yes to the dress when I put it on / I say yes if I want you to take it off'), Slugger is a vital album. She wrote, played, produced and recorded the LP, a process a statement in itself. 'I didn't really plan for the recordings to come out,' she says. 'But once they were finished, it felt like they could be released as they were. I was surprised at how my ability to record at home had developed over the past few years.'
While there are more women in audio production these days (Dupuis cites Computer Magic, Grimes, Alison Wonderland, Emily Reo and Sammus as big inspirations to her), the battle is very much ongoing. 'The gender ratio in terms of who gets credit as a producer, both on records and in press, very much skews towards men. I'm not a trained engineer, but I guess I wanted to show other people who might feel intimidated by the male-dominated world of recording studios that it's very possible to make a pretty cool record at home on a small budget if you follow your own artistic instinct.'
The making of Slugger, she says, was fuelled by heartbreak and pho, and 'reading and re-reading Maggie Nelson, sharing demos with Allison Crutchfield, Jessica Jones, bell hooks and eating bagels. Even though I'm allergic to bagels … '
Slugger is out on Carpark Records, Fri 11 Nov.