“Hello, Hi”

Aug 31, 2022
Web Exclusive

By Scott Dransfield


Ty Segall has an inability to make it through a year without releasing music. Even when he’s not putting out material under his own name, or playing live shows with The Freedom Band (and, previously, The Muggers, The Sleeper band, and The Ty Segall Band), he has his groups Fuzz, GØGGS, and the C.I.A. to keep him busy. On paper, it’s mind-boggling to consider how he’s able to bust out so many new songs, but a mere cursory listen to his new album “Hello, Hi” makes clear that for Segall, this stuff is easy.

“Hello, Hi” is, admittedly, a minor work on the Segall spectrum. He’s in “Led Zeppelin III mode” again—primarily acoustic and chilled-out, like Sleeper and Goodbye Bread before it. If you love the albums referenced, you will love this record too. The candid photo cover and friendly title also hint toward the nature of the music; it’s generally thoughtful, pleasant, and unfussy. In this regard, it’s a nice comedown from the machine-like synthetic sounds on last year’s Harmonizer.

That being said, a handful of “Hello, Hi” tracks (“Cement,” “Looking at You,” “Distraction”) sound as if they could be effortlessly translated to Segall’s usually loud and boisterous garage-rock stylings. Two tracks are there already—the title track especially comes hard and crushing, stomping on the flowers allowed to grow during the first three gentle and quiet tunes, while “Saturday Pt. 2” features a swaggering groove. “Over” and “Blue” are more interesting, foregrounding the acoustic softness but throwing in plenty of dissonance. These moments show why Ty Segall makes his job look so easy—he’s figured out how to write music that can translate between bands, outfits, and sounds. “Hello, Hi” is a low-key testament to his way with a rock tune, no matter the context. (www.ty-segall.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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