Deerhoof have released the urgent and transcendent new single “Plant Thief” alongside an animated video by Molly Fairhurst. The latest track from Actually, You Can, due out October 22nd via Joyful Noise Recordings, “is a rage rock song responding to a patriarchal world that leeches off of unpaid caring labour and matriarchal knowledge,” says the band.
Deerhoof’s dynamic and off-kilter twist on heavy music is the antithesis of the self-defeating, corporate-funded rage rock the band’s Greg Saunier observed in HBO’s documentary Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage (read his essay via Talkhouse), and has served as a steadfast alternative to its commercial counterpart 25+ years strong.
The video is “about a very angry girl,” explains animator Fairhurst. “Sometimes when you are hurt, so much you could dissolve into ink, nothing can stop your shaking atoms other than being swallowed whole into the dark. Sometimes a giant bird will be there, just in time to do that. Satomi’s verse penned a story in my head and I let the thrashing guitars and drums carry me away over the spikes and deep falls. Pulling and falling and tripping I did what I could to match the musical tensions.”
Over eighteen boundless albums as experimental as they are pop, Deerhoof have continuously quested for daring storytelling and radical sounds, creating a new shared language of revolution. 2020s critically acclaimed, overwhelmingly prescient Future Teenage Cave Artists explored fairytale visions of post-apocalypse, welding intrinsic melodies with absurdist digital recording methods. Its immediate sequel Love-Lore, a live covers medley, channelled futurist mid-century artists—Parliament, Sun Ra and Stockhausen, to name a handful— into a patchwork love letter to the anti-authoritarian expressions that inspire the band.
Deerhoof’s latest, Actually, You Can, is a genre-abundant record that uses technicolour vibrancy and arpeggiated muscularity to offer a vital shock from capitalism’s purgatorial hold. The band says, “Think of all the beauty, positivity and love that gets deemed ugly, negative and hateful by the self-proclaimed guardians of ‘common sense.’ We’d hardly be destroying society by dismantling their colonial economics and prisons and gender roles and aesthetics. We’d be creating it!”
Actually, You Can is the thematic inverse of 2014’s Breakup Song, providing the soundtrack to help listeners transition from prolonged isolation to sudden abundance, and all the overstimulation that comes with it. “Plant Thief” follows the album’s lead single “Department of Corrections;” the LP is available for pre-order digitally and on chlorophyll coloured vinyl, CD, and cassette HERE (vinyl will be released on November 19th).