Speedy Ortiz have a lot more time on their hands these days. Having given up their day jobs to record a follow up to 2013’s acclaimed ‘Major Arcana’, they found themselves with the luxury of three weeks in the studio as opposed to the 4 days it took to finish their debut. The result of all this free time is ‘Foil Deer’, an record conceived while wondering through museums and galleries, reading highbrow literature and generally bumming around. It shows in the music, too, as the stroppy indie jams are replaced by more composed and breathy post-rock influences and a lethargic, sedate type of grunge.

Here, singer and founder Sadie Dupuis finds herself amongst French-club dropouts, law-school rejects, wasters, alcoholics and slackers, ambling through her observations with Stephen Malkmus-esque whimsy. Tracks like ‘The Graduates’ and ‘Puffer’ are meticulously composed and layered, and despite a persistent penchant for screeching, distorted lead, no note goes awry. Unfortunately though, some of the instinctive live energy of previous releases is lost amidst the precision and tracks could do with being rougher around the edges. On ‘Zig’ Dupuis asks “how many laps does it take to decide you’re back at the start?” and you can’t help but think that for all the record’s added complexity, bashing it out in 4 days might have sounded better.


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