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Peggy Gou & “I Hear You” Deliver Instant AOTY Contender

In a genre defined by revamps, Peggy Gou and 'I Hear You' prove you can reference eras past while still making music ahead of its time.
The cover for ‘I Hear You,’ the debut record for Peggy Gou.

On paper, the career path of Peggy Gou is familiar to electronic fans. A slew of EPs, many containing singles that garnered wide critical acclaim, came out under a smaller yet still expansive list of labels. The sheer success she obtained, though, is what’s unprecedented. Though her output pre-debut runs just a few hours, she racked up Forbes and Fashion Week endorsements alike alongside those releases, reaching near EDM superstardom without the volume in catalog typically required for it. It makes the Peggy Gou debut record, I Hear You, a much more interesting proposition on its face. Here’s everything you need to know about the Korean producer/DJ’s first studio album.

Peggy Gou Goes Retro On I Hear You

Following a spoken word entrance with “Your Art,” “Back To One” begins I Hear You in earnest. Some chiptune-esque synth work introduces a decidedly retro, European electronic foundation that’s absolutely infectious. Even the ad-lib breaks are enough to put a smile on your face as Gou breaks the fourth wall by asking the audience directly about each successive layer she piles on top.

The two lead singles, included here towards the midpoint, speak to the big room EDM bonafides that Gou already boasted about coming into this project. Even within the context of I Hear You, both tracks are still as killer as ever. Lenny Kravitz, just one of many major cosigns delivered alongside the actual material, provides an excellent foil to Gou, and they flip the typical duet formula on its head.

It’s the rock legend who hits the high notes while the producer sets up gravelly spoken word in between, an undeniable four-on-the-floor beat bringing the song to house music heaven the whole way through. “(It Goes Like) Nanana” taps into a similar retro blueprint, flipping an ATB classic for its warped melody while showcasing the DJ’s singing talent.

A still of Peggy Gou; her "I Hear You" LP marks her major label debut. Taken from @peggygou on Instagram.
Taken from @peggygou on Instagram.

Early EP Callbacks Close Out Gou’s Major Label Debut

The promise of those previous songs is totally delivered in I Hear You’s b-sides. The one-two punch of “Seoulsi Peggygou” and “I Go” embrace Gou’s Korean heritage in essentially opposite ways, the former working in a ton of traditional instrumentation while the latter is sung in her native tongue. In terms of genre, there’s also contrast in that two-pack, as “Seoulsi” is a rare jungle exploration, and “I Go” ventures towards the expansive, drawling house epics she minted earlier in her career.

That last track ends up instructive as we near the close of the project, as the penultimate and final tracks each stick to a slow, developing, introspective composition. “Purple Horizon” plants its focus on glittery SFX and piano chords before a grimy mix of synths pushes it to its next stage. “1+1=11” pours sweeping Eurobeat harmonies on top of another retro house instrumental, with some hypnotic percussion setting the pace the whole way through. Either song would fit perfectly into Gou’s early career work, and feel like a nod to the long-time fans on this album that’s sure to push her further into the stratosphere.

You can find I Hear You and all of the Peggy Gou backlog on streaming platforms everywhere.

Elsewhere in our coverage, ARTMS – “<DALL>” introduces a heavy-hitting quintet to the K-pop world.

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