Ty Segall might be the busiest man in indie rock. He’s certainly one of the most prolific, dropping something new seemingly every 6 months. Whether it’s solo albums or with one of his many side projects, Segall seems to have a mind that runs 24/7. Albums spanning garage rock, psych folk, wonky synth workouts, and even T.Rex glam, Ty Segall has a musical mind unlike any other.
With his latest, simply titled Hello, Hi, Ty Segall gives us 10 acoustic-heavy strummers that feel loose and introspective. This is pretty familiar territory for Segall, and while not really reinventing the wheel he’s still writing engaging, catchy tunes that never feel like retreads.
When I say this is mostly an acoustic affair I’m not exaggerating. With the exception of title track “Hello, Hi”, there’s very little buzzing of amps and shredding of electric. But “Hello, Hi” seems to get all the explosive guitar shreds out of Segall’s system as that that track is full of ’em. Fans of his albums Melted and Twins will find much to love as Ty Segall lays the fuzz and harmonies on thick.
But most of Hello, Hi is a subtle vibe. Songs like “Cement”, “Over”, and “Blue” are sparse with Segall’s layered vocals accompanied only by acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. This a stark sonic shift from last year’s synth-heavy and darkly-lit Harmonizer. It’s not unfamiliar territory, as most of Segall’s albums display campfire strummers of sorts strewn throughout the garage rock freakouts.
But unlike something like Sleeper which was a very quiet acoustic record, Hello, Hi feels busier and heavy in its own way. “Looking At You” has a “Norwegian Wood” vibe, while “Don’t Lie” locks into a touch of Stones’ magic. Think Gimme Shelter-era, but with a touch more of Arthur Lee’s Love thrown in. “Saturday Part 1” and “Saturday Part 2” even touch on Pavement and Neutral Milk Hotel vibes. Segall leaves no sonic stones unturned. And “Distraction” sounds like those classic grunge acoustic albums like Sap and Jar Of Flies, with a touch of White Album.
Hello, Hi is yet another solid LP from the southern Cali psych rock wunderkind Ty Segall. He’s already dropped a lifetime’s worth of music in less than 15 years. Prolific is putting it mildly.