Deerhoof is magical in new album “The Magic”

Julia Hettiger, Entertainment Editor


American experimental rock band Deerhoof released their latest album, “The Magic” on June 24. With 15 new songs and musical experiments, Deerhoof has breathed new life into their music, without losing any of their allure.

The album begins abruptly with the lead singer introducing it, quietly saying “The Magic” into the microphone before the band dives into their music.

The first song on the album, “The Devil and his Anarchic Surrealist Retinue,” is the musical equivalent of being suddenly pushed into a pool. The sound is jarring and different, but lively and fresh. Lead singer Satomi Matzusaki’s voice—although an acquired taste—is intoxicating in this song.

What made it really awesome was the stop motion music video created by animator Joe Baughman. The video has everything from crazy chess games to dinosaur-like animals traveling to strange places. It was weird enough to accompany the song nicely.

“Kafe Mania!” starts off sounding like turning on an old videogame for the first time, and the rest of the song flows really well with it after that. The third song, “That Ain’t No Life To Me” is short and brief, but allows drummer Greg Saunier to share his voice with the world for the first time on the album through digitized and clever lyrics.

“Criminals of the Dream” begins with a magic trick, the young magician saying he can’t tell this nonvisible person his secret before the scene switches over to Matzusaki singing an inspiring message: “Dream, you can dream, you can dream. I know you can dream.”

Deerhoof’s ebullient personality shines in songs like “Model Behavior,” where Matzusaki sings “I am tough, I don’t give up,” and “Learning to Apologize Effectively,” whose title speaks for itself.

In another song, “Dispossessor,” the band touches base with some of their pop-punk roots, successfully creating a catchy and tasteful song. The next song, “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” is another one of their shorter songs at only one minute and 37 seconds, but it is also one of their weirdest and most ballsy songs on the album.

Deerhoof uses trippy, weird music videos to accompany their songs. The videos split screens at different beats of the song and fade in and out throughout. Some include funky characters, while others show the band doing what they do best: create music and experiment with new and different things.

Other songs like “Little Hollywood,” “Plastic Thrills” and “Debut” all capture how phenomenal of a band Deerhoof really is. Their music can transport you anywhere you want to go—back in time, to the future, to another place entirely.

Their songs explode with originality. Although they try unconventional practices with their music, they are still talented and respectful of music itself.

Embracing their experimental roots, Deerhoof’s “The Magic” strays away from ordinary and creates something unlike anything else, like the music itself is magic. After 22 years in the music business, Deerhoof still retains its novel, enjoyable personality, which is portrayed perfectly in their music.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]