Sadie Dupuis, best known as the frontwoman of indie rock band Speedy Ortiz, has decided to step out and explore her poppier side with the release of Slugger, a self-produced solo album recorded under the monicker Sad13. As Sad13, Dupuis has traded the gnarled crunchy guitar lines of Speedy Ortiz for layers of shimmering synth melodies and electronic beats. Created in a focused two week period, Slugger boasts the slick production and bright textures of sugar pop, but the songs are focused on themes of self-determinism and female empowerment. With the album hitting the streets last month, Sadie has put together a touring band and taken Sad13 on the road for a Fall run of North American headlining dates. Concert Addicts caught the recent stop at the Pinhook in Durham NC.
The early Saturday evening show kicked off around 6:30 pm with a solo set from drummer Felix Walworth’s Told Slant project. Despite appearing a bit nervous out from behind the drum kit, and the center of attention, Walworth delivered an intimate and emotional set that resonated with the audience. Next up, Felix climbed back behind the drums to support Emily Reo as she delivered a mesmerizing set that included a stunning cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” The final opening slot fell to Lætitia Tamko, who performs under the name Vagabon. Tamko played an entirely too short set of haunting and soulful songs that utterly charmed the audience into submission.
Sad13 took the stage and closed out the evening with a headlining set that delivered a powerful and energetic take on the songs from Slugger. Flanked by Jade Payne on guitar and Emily Reo on bass, Sadie spent most of the set behind a rack of keyboards as she balanced a light fun party vibe with some slower more intimate moments. As the set built to its rousing conclusion, Sadie picked up a guitar and stepped out from behind the keys to trade licks and smiles with Jade. A strong performance from a talented songwriter that deserves attention. Put your ears on Slugger and definitely catch a show if Sad13 heads back out on the road for another run.