From their start as a full band, Speedy Ortiz found a warm reception in the Bay State’s rock underground, from Boston’s basements to Western Massachusetts’ experimental scene. In March 2012, the band recorded and self-released a two-song single (“Taylor Swift” / “Swim Fan”) with Paul Q. Kolderie (Pixies, Hole) and Justin Pizzoferrato (Chelsea Light Moving, Dinosaur Jr.). Establishing both creative momentum and a fanbase earned through near-constant U.S. touring, they continued with the Sports EP, a loosely conceptual 10” released on Exploding In Sound that June.
Their debut album Major Arcana, named Best New Music by Pitchfork, saw the evolution of Speedy Ortiz from a lo-fi project into a wholly collaborative effort, marked by Darl Ferm’s thick bass lines, drummer Mike Falcone’s boisterous fills, and the counterbalance between guitarist Matt Robidoux’s anti-melodic playing and frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s angular riffing. The end result is a band able to distill their influences and impulses into something at once dissonant and melodic.