February 24th, 2014 5:41am

A Place Where Horrors Fade Away

Speedy Ortiz “Everything’s Bigger”

I was a little slow to embrace Speedy Ortiz because I’m automatically skeptical of any contemporary band who is frequently compared to the likes of Pavement – they almost never sound or feel much like Malkmus – and I distrust the part of me that would be enthusiastic about something because it sounds a lot like the music that was popular when I was a teenager. But Sadie Dupuis and her band really do sound like that stuff, and their execution isn’t merely a matter of knowing the right moves: If their new EP Real Hair came out in 1994 instead of 2014, it would’ve been on par with a lot of the best indie and alt-rock that year. Dupuis’ tendency to write vocal melodies that mirror her guitar parts is very Malkmus-y, but the rest of her band take their cues from the alt-rock side of things, so a song like “Everything’s Bigger” feels more like Veruca Salt than Pavement.

Dupuis’ melodies on “Everything’s Bigger” are very strong, and I love the way they seem to wind loosely around the chords. This flatters her voice, and showcases the expressive, conversational quality of her cadences. Perhaps coincidentally, she calls attention to her own vocal patterns in the song as she wonders why she’s so creeped out by someone who mimics her mannerisms. She seems annoyed by this, but also sorta defeated and compromised.

Buy it from Amazon.

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