Take a break? The thought never seems to occur to Deerhoof, luckily for the rest of us. Following 2020’s excellent Future Teenage Cave Artists (not to mention the intriguing covers medley that was Love-Lore), they’re already back for more. Having been going strong for more than two decades now, the band have shown no signs of slowing down, rather, quite to the contrary, with Cave Artists they seemed to hit an entirely new stride, rejuvenated and ready to court a whole new generation of fans (all while continuing to please those of us that have been along the ride since Apple O’ or even earlier).
Continuing that irresistible, irrepressible forward motion, they’ve just announced their latest LP, the perfectly titled Actually, You Can, which arrives on October 22 though Joyful Noise. As ever, Deerhoof’s sense of glee and adventurousness is on full display, but it’s tempered – perhaps more than ever before – by high-minded goals. Described by the band as their, “baroque gone DIY” LP, the album dreams of confronting society’s – and its sagging, Bezos-esque elite – constrictive nature with a manifesto of boundless love.
Speaking on the album’s central themes themselves, the band share, “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!“
To that end, the project’s first single, “Department of Corrections”, much as its title implies, finds the band taking on the prison-industrial complex with that mixture of punk and joy that Deerhoof are still the very best at capturing.
On the song, they say it “is about all the marvellous mysteries of life that don’t add up on a ledger sheet or figure into an AI algorithm. It’s about Judas going electric. It’s about how the human species itself is meaningless without a planet to live on. How we vastly outnumber our would-be masters if only we could get organised.”
The song comes complete with a riotous animated video by Jess Joy, which you can check out below. Otherwise listen to “Department of Corrections” on streaming platforms.