Say what you will about Deerhoof, but they know how to write a beautiful song. And "Offend Maggie" is all the more beautiful for the fact that it seems to come out of nowhere. For all its sparkling musicanship, it sounds casually tossed off like it was nothing at all. It's a new sound for the band as much as it's a new sound for pop music.
While John Dieterich's acoustic guitar seems to channel Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure, Ed Rodriguez's electric conjures classic Townsend. Singer/bassist Satomi Matsuzaki (with drummer Greg Saunier on harmony vocal) tells a plaintive story in which telemarketing calls are a metaphor for unrequited love. The bittersweet magic of this short song promises a major thrill ride when its 14-track namesake is released next month.
For those who have been following their remarkable career, "Offend Maggie" represents another Deerhoofian high-water mark, even as it shows another abrupt shift in direction. With these master gamesters, you can never guess their next move, but once they've made it, it somehow seems inevitable. One listen and you'll know "Offend Maggie" could only be Deerhoof. Two listens and you'll be in love.
Offend Maggie will be released on October 7 on Kill Rock Stars.