By Caitlin Wolper
Sadie Dupuis and a fellow poet were buying for ghosts. Rooming on the the same supposedly petrified resort, they took pictures and stayed up till 4 a.m., but chanced on nothing. It wasn’t till the next day that Dupuis — a vocalist and guitarist for Like a flash Ortiz, who performs solo as Sad13 — found a presence in Seattle’s Frye Artwork Museum. She used to be straight away hooked in to it.
It used to be a portrait of the dancer Saharet by Franz von Stuck. Dressed in green, a pink flower in her hair, Saharet seems benign in the beginning. But after a 2d, the darkish circles below her eyes — a stark inequity to her very pink lips and intensely mild skin. The deliver weariness of those circles provides a hyperrealistic depth, a say of sorts: She’s seen something. This portrait essentially inspired Dupuis’s original album, Panicked Painting, out September 25.
Whereas a painting is tethered to at least one 2d, to name it petrified imagines a lifetime in the inspire of it. Panicked Painting is far the the same. Below a veneer of synth pop, bubbly beats, and deft lyricism hides loss, psychological health struggles, and environmental failures.
“When my dad handed away in 2015, I most regularly went horny inspire to work: I had a file that used to be about to arrive out, and I was in a alarmed divulge of anxiety — no longer in denial about it, but no longer truly ready to job it,” Dupuis tells MTV Records. “I bear in mind doing a massive interview the day after the funeral. I bear in mind going to SXSW maybe two weeks later, occurring tour for plenty of of the next two years, and no longer truly sitting with that or processing it … I ethical kept creating work for myself so I’d be working your total time and no longer have to contend with my psychological health.”
That’s in particular decided on “Staunch Peril,” where she bemoans the space between them, singing, “I’m taking the loss perfect I can.” Dupuis wrote the tune whereas he used to be tranquil alive, as a technique to speak, “I’ll be OK, Dad!” but sadly, he handed sooner than she executed it.
Demise and anxiety dangle-out these songs. Dupuis recorded two of Panicked Painting’s tracks — “Staunch Peril” and “Oops…!” — at New Monkey, the Van Nuys, California studio of deceased singer-songwriter Elliott Smith; one amongst Dupuis’s musical heroes, he’s the first whose passing she remembers. It used to be after that studio session that, caught in a 22-hour layover at LAX in August 2019, she heard of the demise of David Berman, a musician and poet, perfect identified for his band Silver Jews. From this compounded anxiety came “The Crow,” a creeping display screen with though-provoking, gritty guitar interludes and jarring lyrics: “The long rush ethical confounds me / He’s unnecessary, I’m titillating at Taix / Faint-hearted bottle blond hiding out ‘til the smoke ethical passes.”
“Whereas the file’s about anxiety, it’s also partly about having to reconcile with the truth that contend with is no longer sufficient to support people with you your total time, and your heroes can produce horny art work but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be here forever, and attempting to study to contend with and address those forms of losses,” Dupuis says.
Panicked Painting also reckons with the loss of Dupuis’s chums to drug overdose. Particularly, in 2019, three of her chums died inner a couple weeks of every other; she chanced on this reactivated OCD symptoms she hadn’t skilled since childhood. She explores this resurgence on “Ruby Wand,” likely her most lyrically deliver work, orchestrated with mathematical synths she feels echo her experiences with OCD. As she sings “I’d like defend an eye on,” the tune explodes into cacophony; she compares it to musical theater.
“My win OCD symptoms are very considerable about attempting defend an eye on and attempting to create homework for things that aren’t homework, ethical to enjoy a build for my mind to focus,” Dupuis says. “A actually over-the-top, guitar-heavy, out-of-defend an eye on 2d feels treasure what or no longer it’s are attempting to battle thru these intensely obsessional, invasive fixation periods when things feel out of defend an eye on.”
And it’s no longer ethical demise and loss that are out of her defend an eye on. Dupuis also reckons with the climate crisis on “WTD?” and misogynistic, offensive comedians on “Hysterical.” She challenges: “You’re in it for the fight, horny? / You clamor for the gore / You also can’t conceal that lust anymore.” It’s an international’s value of outrages packed densely into the album — all that retains it from bursting is Dupuis’s cautious consideration to language, becoming words treasure “mellifluous” and “febrile” in her songs so seamlessly that neither the emotional takeaway nor the accessibility of the tune itself are interrupted.
But despite its ghosts, Panicked Painting also can furthermore be happy. “With Toddler” is a glittery display screen that hinges on “kissing the hero in the teach gross sales blueprint.” Within the tune video for “Oops…!” Dupuis is a saccharine vampire dressed in her mod perfect, baking with blood; in “Hysterical” she watches nonchalantly, ordering a pizza, as her chums are murdered by ghosts over video chat, her YouTube sidebar exclusively populated with Wallace Shawn.
These splashes of humor, in particular in the “Hysterical” video, are wanted in striking forward steadiness and levity amongst anxiety. And it’s so decided in Dupuis, the particular person, too: Merch for the album has ranged from your customary vinyl to a petrified sizzling sauce, petrified breakfast tea, and petrified hazelnut spread.
In phase, she gets to provide such foolish, winky products due to on this album, Dupuis is absolutely up to chase of the whole lot from production to promotion. She’s releasing Panicked Painting herself thru indie set apart Wax 9. Whereas she completed mixing the album in December, she did insist that “the slowing down that is a valuable byproduct of being in a world emergency has made me gawk at quite just a few facets of the beginning cycle in a technique that is special.” For instance, she performs with regards to each instrument on the album — that makes livestreams a racy inform.
Whereas she’s no longer particular if she’ll write deeper into this anxiety one day, environmental and economic failures are tranquil top of mind. “WTD?” used to be inspired by a chunk of writing she read about “housing in the ocean that would possibly possibly also be impervious to rising sea phases, obviously for the uber well off — [I felt] madden on the root that the benefactors of enormous industries that are causing the perfect affect to our climate will likely be the first so as to colonize but every other phase of no longer perfect our planet, but also house.” Finally, these components are ongoing.
“Whereas it’s a pleasant utopian memoir to possess an international where we’re no longer continuously working against so considerable,” she laughs wryly, “I imagine that is maybe too optimistic.”
But don’t read Dupuis as pessimistic, both. In “Staunch Peril” she sings to her father, “Anytime I produce a massive sound, that’s after I possess you.” Panicked Painting serves in many suggestions as a memoriam, but it’s also a tribute to the memory of those lost, and a commitment to support interesting forward.