Breakup Song by Deerhoof

By Natalie Burris
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In junior high, I was lucky enough to see Deerhoof perform. My parents brought me along to Earlham College, where we watched the performance on a small, square stage on a huge open field. I remember the show being enjoyable with Satomi Matsuzaki doing cute little dance moves and the extremely tall Greg Saunier crouching down on a milk crate to play his tiny percussion set-up. (My father grabbed a setlist that had only cute drawings for titles.) Today, Deerhoof is on their 14th release Breakup Song and have grown musically yet keep their garage noise and voice …which isn’t hard when the voice sounds like a sweet, happy woman-child.

With each album comes a different experience and this one moves into another new direction using more jazzy grooves and consistent 80’s/90’s electronic influence. Unlike earlier songs (“Come See The Duck”), a few of these tracks have the chance of getting played by a DJ–despite how short in length most are. “Mothball the Fleet”, the fifth track, begins with a Vampire Weekend type of guitar riff and continues to carry a dreamy quality that would be ideal to hear on a road trip with the windows down… AKA perfect for an Urban Outfitters playlist. But fear not, my friend, for at least it will bring you bragging rights and something to bop along to while your buddy is shopping for overpriced flannel and novelty iPhone cases. This one song is proof of the poppy course the group has taken. “Zero Seconds Pause” and “To Fly or Not to Fly” open with electronic intros and carry an 80’s vibe, but “To Fly or Not to Fly” goes back and forth between an upbeat Prince-ish song and a fighting guitar riff that and although very short (1:45), the two parts seem to join hands and run off together instead of ending in disaster. Which is probably what Matsuzaki would prefer. Her delicate voice combined with cutesy titles such as “Flower” is a perfect balance to all the racket happening around her. She creates a sense of harmony with the music. With the ending of the album just as solid as the opening, this is definitely an album I will never want to Breakup with.

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