Friday, December 10th, 2021

Peggy Gou – I Go

We review exactly one half of her 2021 output, with about one six hundredth of ours.


Claire Biddles: Seems glib to highlight this on a site that specifically covers singles, but Peggy Gou is such a great singles artist — two expertly crafted songs every year, absolutely no fat, all the painstaking effort under wraps and the gleaming ten minutes of seemingly effortless house music on display. Less confessional dregs catered towards every available Spotify playlist, more of this cut-glass minimalist excellence please.

Alfred Soto: Just when December looked dire, Peggy Gou drops another banger: a post-house track whose wistful vocals recall an earlier age but whose fat-bottomed beat plants itself in the present. 

Ian Mathers: As good as the whole track is, the parts with Gou’s vocals are really the highlight of “I Go,” their diffidence somehow makes the already stellar production somehow hit even harder.

Iain Mew: “I Go” taps into very much the same rich seam of future nostalgia as Javiera Mena did at her peak, except with a deeper sound. The sung bits are bliss but the absolute highlight is when that drifts away and the music just goes on reverberating into infinity.

Juana Giaimo: I feel that one of the biggest challenges during the pandemic was how to make dance music without ignoring the context. Many times I came across songs and thought “Oh, I would really enjoy this if it was another year,” but I could never be the kind of person who uses music or any art to escape reality — for me, it’s exactly the opposite. “I Go” seems to have the answer. Fast, but not euphoric. House at its core, but still dreamy enough to get lost in.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: It almost feels silly to review Peggy Gou singles at this point. Every 6-12 months she puts out another 3-7 minute slab of deep house and every time it is excellent in roughly similar ways. “I Go” perhaps has the most stylistic movements within it of her recent work — there’s an actual verse rather than simply chanted sections, and the synth melody is more central to the song. But in the end “I Go” is still just as satisfying as the rest of Peggy Gou’s work. Let’s meet up again next year and talk about her again.

Nortey Dowuona: The drums that open “I Go” are pretty old. Old enough you start thinking of all those strange bits of 1984 pop that were just the basic stock musical ideas that became a sage space for the entire group of folx burnt out on whatever Shawty Redd’s great grand children and DJ Rashad’s grand children have been making. But Peggy knows better than to simply circle herself in sage. She builds upon it with wandering synth lines, whining lead synths and the rubbery, constantly stretched bass, with a keen, carefully painted whistle loping across the chorus, until the synth pads tranquil below this all, let the bass stretch and lope below with the drums, relieved and relaxing, then slowly disappearing, returning you to the burning hellscape of fake Olivia Newton John songs burning the dying forests.

Michael Hong: Gou’s music is the perfect blend of dance, meditation, and starriness that allows it to captivate you for all its sprawling runtime. Certainly, “I Go” is some of her most playful, but its structure remains confusing, never reaching a climax yet still managing to wane. Its fade-out comes back unsatisfyingly, building to a variation of its beginning, a reiteration that’s a little too similar as “I Go” retreats but never really moves forward.

Edward Okulicz: Deliciously minimal, like 90s house pop made with even more primitive building blocks, but somehow sounding sleek and futuristic. Just a really bright, life-affirming dance record, six minutes to have revelations to.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: In July, I found myself camping with a group of people that I barely knew. The person who invited me was a friendly neighbor that I’d met through a mutual friend, his friends sounded nice enough, and the prospect of driving several hours of out of the city for a weekend at a gay campsite was alluring enough to help me overcome some serious pandemic social anxiety. With new people in a new place, I was nervous. But after a car ride of singing ARTPOP and trading notes about Gossip Girl, the gays were in splendid nature, sharing stories over campfires and exploring the nearby town. I tell this story not because I love camping, but because so much of adulthood has felt like navigating — and embracing — situations that I never thought that I would be in. Two years ago, if you had told me that I would be camping with a group of strangers in the Midwest for fun, I would have laughed and said some pretentious stuff about traveling the world. But the pandemic stole my sense of place, and my willingness to head out on any adventure on a moment’s notice. It’s rooted me in a place I never planned to be, given me responsibilities I’ve never expected to have, and challenged me to confront my dreams and desires in a way that feels both overwhelming and empowering. I’m not sure if my feeling — of growth, of epiphany, or movement — was present before or spurred by listening to Peggy Gou’s “I Go.” But I distinctly remember hearing it for the first time, feeling entranced in the music’s hypnotic, wonderful joy as I sat in the backseat of our car of gays, barreling through the lush countryside. I sensed the song’s innocence and motivation, and kept its courage throughout the weekend. Unbothered at the prospect of never reaching a destination, Peggy Gou repeats with unrelenting joy, “I Go/I Go.” Was putting one foot in front of another ever so simple? Will it continue to be? It’s a feeling I want to lose myself in, a simple truth that continue to aspire to live by. Until we are going, going, going, unburdened by fear and lost in the pleasure of movement and discovery.

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One Response to “Peggy Gou – I Go”

  1. didn’t get my shit even slightly together enough to blurb this but it would have been a 9-10 for me

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