The second single off of Speedy Ortiz’s upcoming LP Foil Deer, “The Graduates” feels much more personal than last month’s “Raising the Skate” without compromising on Ortiz’s hard-hitting sound. Where as “Raising the Skate” was an anthemic statement of Dupuis prowess (“I’m not bossy, I’m the boss, I’m the shooter, not the shot”), “The Graduates” is a recognition of the formative years of slacking that nearly everyone participates in. The song centers on the collective malaise surrounding primary (and often secondary) education, and the chorus of, “I was the best at being second place” is a disturbingly apt description of how the endless competition of school years makes one feel. A synthesizer joins the club in the opening seconds of “The Graduates”, seemingly a new addition for the band, otherwise the hallmarks of a Speedy Ortiz are all present. There is feedback, many layers of guitars, and a solidly-running rhythm section behind it all, never allowing “The Graduates” to get too slow or cornily introspective.
In a particularly tragic circumstance, “The Graduates” debuted a few days after Sadie Dupuis father passed away. In a Facebook post, Dupuis remarked that the song was one of her father’s favorite that she had ever written. Dupuis wrote a longer remembrance of her father that can be read here.
You can stream “The Graduates” below. Foil Deer is out April 21 via Carpark Records.