A Noisy Tale of Feline Companionship | “My Lovely Cat!” by Deerhoof


Logan Juncaj, Writer/Volunteer

There is a beauty in the inexplicable nature of life. Those strange phenomena that can only be described as miracles. The miracle of life, the miracle of death — our entire existence is just as the title suggests, Miracle-Level. 

Released on March 31, Bay Area-based noise-pop group Deerhoof have returned with their 19th LP titled Miracle-Level. Intact since 2008, the current quartet includes bassist/singer Satomi Matsuzaki, drummer Greg Saunier, guitarist Ed Rodriguez and guitarist John Dietrich. Miracle-Level is the first release from the group to be entirely recorded in a proper studio and their first to be sung in Satomi Matsuzaki’s native Japanese. Swapping languages opens up an entirely new realm of expression for the group and although many of their listeners may not speak Japanese, tracks such as “My Lovely Cat!” leap over any linguistic barriers that might appear. 

You can’t go wrong with any song on this album, but “My Lovely Cat!” stood out to me. Deerhoof leader Matsuzaki wrote and sang the lyrics to the new song in Japanese, and she also designed the cover art. The song is as restless and off-kilter as you might expect from the band, but it also features a gentle, bittersweet hook and a sort of upbeat and unpredictable energy reminiscent of those precious feline companions.

Miracle-Level was produced and engineered by Mike Bridavsky who was the human caretaker of internet sensation Lil Bub. In 2019, the world mourned the death of the internet famous cat at the age of 8. Lil Bub became popular for her unusual appearance in 2012, becoming a beloved presence for her small stature, big eyes and protruding tongue. Matsuzaki wrote “My Lovely Cat!” due to her love of animals with lines including: “My lovely, lovely cat!/ I can’t even leave home/ Let’s monitor on pet-cam.”

The song also works as an ode to the life of Lil Bub and the love that not only her owner had, but also the love that millions of fans around the globe felt for the furry internet sensation.

Lil’ Bub” by Indiana Public Media is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 .

Mike Bridavsky shared in a press release, “Satomi [Matsuzaki], Ed [Rodriguez], John [Dietrich] and Greg [Saunier] tried something different on this record and the result is Deerhoof at their most sparse and vulnerable.” Miracle-Level is experimental not only in its sound, but also in its language. Miracle-Level celebrates all of those tiny miracles in life and on “My Lovely Cat!” Deerhoof pays tribute to the life of Lil Bub, an adorable feline celebrity who captured the hearts of millions. If you have a pet then you understand that the bond and love that you share can only be described as Miracle-Level.