I Hear You

I Hear You

The cover artwork for Peggy Gou’s debut album features the South Korean DJ/producer wearing a mirrored headpiece that creates kaleidoscopic reflections of her ears. The piece, an aural sculpture by Olafur Eliasson, is an artful interpretation of Gou’s view that “everybody wants to be heard.” Years after crashing dance music’s radar in the late 2010s with shimmering tracks “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)” and “Starry Night,” she found crossover success in 2023 when her sunny single “(It Goes Like) Nanana” went viral. I Hear You welcomes more people to Gou’s party utopia. It straddles the line between mainstream and underground, pairing the sleek production heard spilling from smoky nightclubs and Ibiza terraces with song-structured vocals. “(It Goes Like) Nanana,” “I Go,” and “Back to One” are effortlessly cool yet earnest, communicating messages of positivity, perseverance, and staying true to oneself atop ’90s dance rhythms. R&Balearic serenade “I Believe in Love Again” with Lenny Kravitz continues the throwback influence with a classic organ bassline, followed by Villano Antillano collaboration “All That,” which samples Kevin Lyttle’s 2003 song “Turn Me On.” Beyond the summer anthems, the album occasionally gets experimental, swerving into drum ’n’ bass with a side of traditional Korean instrument gayageum on “Seoulsi Peggygou (서울시페기구)” and drifting through hazy acid breakbeats on “Purple Horizon.” Of all the sounds in Gou’s technicolor palette, her best instrument is her breezy voice, with which she delivers simple yet irresistible hooks in English and Korean. That she’s had hits in both languages is proof of music’s universal nature. As she sings in the latter on “Lobster Telephone,” “I know you don’t understand this/But it doesn’t matter/It’s all the same/We’re all the same.”

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