Earlier this year, Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz shared Haunted Painting, her sophomore solo album under the moniker Sad13. It’s a deeply personal and introspective record, written as a document of her return to the creative process after reconciling with a delayed processing of grief. Heavy in its subject matter but light on its feet, Haunted Painting is some of Dupuis’ strongest work to date.
To celebrate the album, as well as the recent Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation covers album that she released in partnership with Father/Daughter Records, Dupuis sat down to talk decorations, recording a new holiday cover every year, and mushroom gravy, in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A holiday edition.
What’s the best holiday gift you’ve ever received?
When I was 17 my mom bought a drum set from my friend’s dad and it’s in her basement to this day. I used it to record a lot of the earliest solo Speedy Ortiz stuff, and the snare actually toured with us on Mike’s kit from about 2011 til last year. So it’s got a lot of use over the last 15 years and you can’t really beat that as far as presents go.
What is your earliest holiday memory?
Driving around Jersey suburbs with my family, looking at people’s over-the-top lights and animatronics.
What’s on your wish list for this year?
I’m easy to please. A good hot sauce or book makes me happy. But if Santa was really looking out for me, I’d be psyched to upgrade my audio interface. Like, if Santa happens to work at Apogee, Santa should hit me up.
What holiday song can you not resist singing along to?
Really loving “Hating You For Christmas” by Everclear lately, thanks to Melkbelly’s very good cover.
What’s the holiday song you wish you could zap out of existence?
I believe this is a popular opinion, but “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” gives me the creeps!
What is your strangest holiday tradition?
I write and record an original holiday song EVERY SINGLE YEAR, all of which are here. You’d think I’d be tired of doing it by now, and I’m running out of traditional Christmas songs to interpolate as guitar solos. But I actually upped the ante this year and co-released a holiday compilation, another collaboration between my label Wax Nine and Father/Daughter Records.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Haunted Painting by Sad13 OBVIOUSLY. But I have enough copies of it at home, so if it were me being gifted, I would really like the Charli XCX Number 1 Angel/Pop 2 LP.
Thoughts on snow?
It’s cool to look at once or twice a year. Beyond that, it limits my wardrobe too much and I fantasize about becoming a snowbird.
What holiday movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
Black Christmas, Christmas Evil, Nightmare Before Christmas – all classics. Muppets Christmas Carol is also pretty great and, of course, I especially love Marley & Marley.
Marry, F*ck, Kill: Santa, Thanksgiving Turkey, Hannukah Harry.
I guess I’ll marry the turkey to save its life and the other two can fight it out for f*ck or death. I’m Jewish and somehow have never in my life heard of Hanukkah Harry before this moment?
What’s the one food you need on your Thanksgiving table?
As a vegan I’m all about the veggie sides. And a good mushroom gravy ties them all together.
Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever spent the holidays?
Now that I’ve spent the last eight years on the road nonstop, it’s a gift in itself to NOT fly or drive places on holidays – or at least I felt that way in years prior. My mom and I did go to Austin a few years ago and got to see an outlaw country Christmas show at a bar, which is about as perfect a Christmas as I can imagine.
You decide to blow off the holidays and travel instead. Where are you going?
Nobody’s traveling right??? Stay home please! I do love Mexico City more than most cities and would be pretty happy to spend any holiday there. But only when the pandemic’s over!
If the holidays are a time for giving, what’s the charity you’d like to big up for the season?
I’m donating $1/sale of my album in 2020 to Prevention Point Philadelphia, a really crucial local harm reduction organization and health resource. So obviously I think folks should support them. And if you happen to buy Haunted Painting before the ball drops, you’re gonna support them involuntarily. ;)
What’s your favorite holiday drink?
Polar Seltzer limited edition Winter flavors! I’m also excited for their Ginger Lime Mule in early 2021.
Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
Anything’s a Christmas movie if you believe!
How early is too early to decorate for the holiday season?
Keep the Halloween decorations up all year round.
What’s your ideal way to spend New Years Eve?
Wearing a fancy outfit eating junk food at a friend’s apartment is ideal. I’m gonna miss it this year.
As the year ends, how are you going to remember 2020?
I don’t wanna get too dark in a holiday Q+A, but there was a lot of needless death and suffering exacerbated by and even caused by our government and its agents. It would be hard to look back on 2020 without that at the forefront. But a lot of people also came to activism for the first time this year, and I hope that continues into 2021 and beyond – there’s a ton of work to do as a country and for our communities regardless of who’s in office. It’s also the year Union Of Musicians And Allied Workers started, and I hope as a union we’re able to do a lot as we grow.
The ball is dropping. What are you wishing for in the new year?
The other day at 11:11 on the phone with my health insurance for the eighth hour that week I wished for Medicare for All. I think that’s a good 2021 wish too!
Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation is out now. Listen and purchase here.