Artist of the week: Ty Segall
Ty Segall is an American musician, songwriter and producer from the San Francisco bay area who has become well known in the indie circuit partially due to his insane levels of productivity: since 2005, the 27-year-old hyperactive singer, guitarist and drummer has released eight proper solo records (plus another dozen of other LPs that include compilations, rarities and demos), more than twenty singles and EPs, three handfuls of music videos, four collaborative records with the likes of Mikal Cronin and White Fence, four live albums and an countless number of LPs and 7” as a member of bands such as Epsilons, Party Fowl, The Traditional Fools, The Perverts, Sic Alps, Fuzz and Ty Segall Band.
The work ethos visible on Ty Segall’s prodigious musical output has been paramount for his evolution from the raw (but always hooky) edges of his initial and punkish lo-fi recordings such as 2009’s Lemons to the garage psychedelic rock of 2010’s Melted, the mellower folk-rock of 2011’s Goodbye Bread, the sheer hardcore of 2012’s Slaughterhouse and the dreamy acoustic sounds of 2013’s Sleeper, just to name a few of his essential recordings. In fact, each of his records sounds like a specific piece of something much larger that his oeuvre has yet to fully portrait: his idiosyncratic take of the jauntier leanings of Rock’n’roll, whether it is classic, garage, psychedelic, noise, punk, glam or heavy metal. It comes as no surprise that a large array of bands such as Hawkwind, The Stooges, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Grateful Dead or T-Rex are constantly referred as his main influences and inspirations – one really needs this vast and noble palette of vivid colors to paint Ty Segall’s fascinating musical landscape. This legacy was articulated in a grandiose synthesis in 2014′s Manipulator, which is still to date his longest, best-sequenced, ambitious, and labor-intensive record to date, arguably the first one that aimed to be more than another piece of his puzzling discography, but a kaleidoscopic snapshot of everything he has done before.
To follow such a massive record would always be a challenge, but Ty Segall seems to love these. After releasing last year an eye-opening compilation of his T-Rex covers (Ty Rex), he returned in January with Emotional Mugger, a dirty, fuzzy and noisy that could be seen as the raw flip side to Manipulator polished songwriting, production and delivery. If you want to bang your head to a rocker this year, look no further: Ty Segall has proven once again that he’s quite unique when it comes to shape chaos with a mix of sheer energy and an organic gusto to experiment.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.