Last month, Speedy Ortiz announced their latest album, Twerp Verse, with a new song, “Lucky 88,” and today they’re back with another new one from it, “Lean In When I Suffer.” It’s a prickly rocker that takes the Sheryl Sandberg self-help mantra and applies it to the emotional labor we expend on others. “Now I’m checking my phone, but I don’t wanna talk/ Don’t wanna lopside my language/ No, I don’t wanna go off, ’cause I lean in when I suffer,” Dupuis sings.
It comes attached to a video in which a sad Dupuis gets an invitation to join The Happiness Consultants, where she and the rest of the band are subjected to a bunch of colorful and childlike ways to cure depression, none of which seem particularly effective. Here’s how Dupuis frames the song and video:
“Lean In When I Suffer” is about that fun breed of “ally” who wears out their already exhausted friends by relying on us for excessive emotional labor. They want props for their wokeness, but don’t want to put in any actual work or divest themselves of power. They just taaaake uuuup spaaaace, and shut down when you try to talk them through their problematic tendencies. Because #selfcare? So you’re stuck in a toxic vampiric loop trying to maintain a relationship–Lean In AND Suffer, why don’t you! Director Ari Ratner took this concept a step further to address another annoyance we found relatable as hell, which is when “people give unsolicited advice about how to beat depression. [They] typically fail to acknowledge depression as a real illness and often minimize the experiences of the person they are trying to help.” So our OK-to-Cry-Corral band gets put through happiness bootcamp from a group of clowns who’ve “never been sad” (and some accompanying Crayola-bright illustrations from Julia Emiliani).
Ultimately, playing angry rock songs is our favorite form of therapy.
(And also, real therapy. That shit works.)
Watch and listen below.
Twerp Verse is out 4/27 via Carpark Records.