Artist of the week: Ty Segall

Artist of the week on Musikki – 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 seven proper solo records (plus another dozen of other LPs that include compilations, rarities and demos), more than twenty singles and EPs, two handfuls of music videos, four collaborative records with the likes of Mikal Cronin and White Fence, 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.

Manipulator, Ty Segall’s new album is, by far, his longest, best-sequenced, ambitious, and labor-intensive record to date, arguably the first one that aims to be more than another piece of his puzzling discography, but a kaleidoscopic snapshot of everything he has done before that includes a panoramic view of where his talent might take him in the future. Newcomers should definitely start by this one monster and the converted can be reassured: the multiple overdubs, lush arrangements and tight production left untouched both his sheer energy and organic gusto to experiment.

João Pedro da Costa

João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.