Deerhoof photographed by Eric Landmark


Hometown: Oakland, CA (USA)


Like all the best pop music, Deerhoof has always been strikingly new and yet strangely familiar. Melodic beauty, as if out of a half–remembered dream, is set against flashes of brilliant innovation that seem to be as much of a surprise to the band as to the listener. With Deerhoof every song is an adventure. Classic rock, J–pop, jazz, classical, and noise suddenly become inseparable, as if no stylistic barriers had ever truly existed. This is reflected in their equally wide following: Ask five fans to pin down Deerhoof's sound and you'll get five completely different answers.

Their mid '90s debut saw them being branded "too noise for pop" and "too pop for noise." But even as this combination eventually proved basic to the sound of contemporary indie rock, lifting the band out of obscurity in the process, Deerhoof has remained a genre unto themselves. From the cartoon surrealism of Milk Man (2004) or Friend Opportunity (2007) to the gritty realism of Apple O' (2003) and Offend Maggie (2008), they have invented their own instantly recognizable way of writing, playing and recording a song.

They are a study in contrasts. Vocalist/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki's light, cool delivery, and the laser beam clarity of her melodies, create a magical tension with her bandmates' ragged power and hyperexpressivity. Underlying any seemingly mythic tendency in the lyrics is a very human concern with worldly love and friendship. And while they can pull out all the stops with some breathtaking songwriting sophistication and virtuosic sparkle, always present is an unpretentious Deerhoofian joy. Ultimately their only rule has been to throw away the rules. As successful as they've become, they are an inspiration to their ever–growing audience because they've stayed DIY, stayed positive, and stayed pure.


Deerhoof Offend Maggie


Offend Maggie (2008)

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