Music Reviews
"Hello, Hi"

Ty Segall "Hello, Hi"

(Drag City) Rating - 7/10

It used to be that you could miss a Ty Segall recording before the blink of an eye. The prolific LA singer-songwriter has never ceased to deliver album after album of serviceable garage rock revivalism, handled with a consistency that is easy to take for granted. In recent years, Segall's output somewhat decreased apart from 2021's Harmonizer, which had him asking some troubling existential questions evoking a Giallo atmosphere.

Harmonizer proved that Segall could still turn up the fuzz, though its heavy use of synths didn't allow for some of the arrangements to soar. Which is fine: he's given us a lifetime of raw, scuzzy rippers to enjoy. For an artist who's experimented through the years more than he's even been given credit for, "Hello, Hi" is another sharp pivot into pastoral psychedelia. Segall has dabbled in an unplugged format if one considers 2013's folk-leaning Sleeper or parts of 2018's more ambitious Freedom's Goblin. Here, he almost exclusively sticks to taut performances that shimmer with a warm sheen, whether he's playing descending guitar patterns with minimal percussion (Over) or looking inward to glam rock with a touch of melodic murk (Blue). Others even have an unadorned semblance to them, like the downright Looking at You, which adopts a baroque-sounding arpeggiated riff akin to Led Zeppelin III.

Segall lets loose once on the confidently monolithic title track, which feels like a throwback to sludgier releases like Slaughterhouse and his side-project Fuzz. He's also at his most frivolous, greeting us in falsetto in what truly sounds like a one-off compared to the rest of the album. Segall eases you with his unique charm, but he also tricks you, subtly cranking things up to remind you of his frenzied output. The tone remains largely indistinct throughout, but it also feels like he's begun concocting his next witches' brew.