Deerhoof Announce New Album, Share Stop-Motion Video for New Song “Department of Corrections”

Jul 21, 2021

By Mark Redfern

Photography by Jess Joy


Deerhoof have announced a new album, Actually, You Can, and shared its first single, “Department of Corrections,” via an amusing stop-motion animated video. Actually, You Can is due out October 22 via Joyful Noise (which is also a good description of the new song). Jess Joy directed the “Department of Corrections” video, which features cut-out versions of the band in famous paintings with religious themes as frontwoman Satomi Matsuzaki sings “you turn my water into wine.” Watch it below, followed by the album’s tracklist and cover art.

Actually, You Can is the eighteenth album from “the prolific Earth-based band,” as a press release describes them (as opposed to all those great bands from Jupiter and Venus we’ve been writing about recently). The press release says Actually, You Can finds Deerhoof “using their agility, wit, and outlandishness to create a new shared language of revolution, one powered by lyrical labyrinths and thrashing melodies.” Sounds about par for the course for a Deerhoof album then. The album is also described as a “grand return to biblical references ironically set to frenzied noise rock, as heard on their breakthrough series of LPs, Reveille, Apple O’, and The Runners Four.”

The band (Satomi Matsuzaki, Ed Rodriguez, John Dieterich, and Greg Saunier) produced the album themselves. They collectively had this to say about it in the press release: “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!”

The band say that “Department of Corrections” 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 organized.”

Director Jess Joy adds: “The video rhetorically questions authority. Who runs the show? A dying sun? Mushrooms? In wondering why we put limitations on our freedom, we realize that the people we have put in charge also do not know.”

In 2020 Deerhoof had several releases, including their last regular studio album (Future Teenage Cave Artists), a live album (To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough), and an ambitious covers album that featured 43 songs in only 35 minutes and was a free download (Love-Lore).

Read our 2020 interview with the band.

Actually, You Can Tracklist:

1. Be Unbarred, O Ye Gates of Hell
2. Department of Corrections
3. We Grew, and We Are Astonished
4. Scarcity Is Manufactured
5. Ancient Mysteries, Described
6. Plant Thief
7. Our Philosophy Is Fiction
8. Epic Love Poem
9. Divine Comedy

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