In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, in anticipation of our great SXSW party on Friday, we’re highlighting tracks from some of the artists playing the show.
Speedy Ortiz’s Major Arcana was one of my favorite records of 2013. An angular, slightly off take on indie-rock, the record took the sounds of ’90s giants like Pavement and Liz Phair and updated them to fit into the modern era. While that kind of ’90s updating is fairly par for the young-band course these days, Speedy Ortiz manages to do it with flair and smarts, setting the Massachusetts group apart.
Take “Hitch,” for instance. The track opens up with some ambling Built To Spill-inspired chords before singer Sadie Dupuis launches into lyrics about horses, fevers, and fucking. It’s a little bit Phair, a little bit Luscious Jackson, and a lot catchy. Listen to it once below and I swear it’ll be stuck in your head forever.