Words About Music
Ty Segall “Sleeper”
Ty Segall has it all. Indie buzz, hardcore fans, boyish good looks, youth; what more could a California musician in his mid-twenties possibly want? Well, probably for his father to still be alive. Segall, who is known for more energetic garage rock albums and EPs with many different collaborators, wrote the mostly acoustic 10-song album “Sleeper” during the time that his adopted father died of cancer and he stopped speaking to his mother. Needless to say, “Sleeper” is definitely Segall’s most honest, serious work to date.
Ty Segall is known mostly for being extremely prolific in his releases. The 26(?) year old has released eight solo albums since 2008, but that’s only the beginning. He’s also been in loads of bands, including The Traditional Fools, Epsilons, Party Fowl, Sic Alps, The Perverts, Ty Segall Band (which released its adored debut album last year), and the brand new group Fuzz, which is putting an album out this October. He’s also collaborated with psych-rock group White Fence and partner-in-crime-turned-acclaimed-solo-artist Mikal Cronin. So, Ty Segall is definitely a busy man, as well as the master of his domain. He’s one of the most fascinating figures in rock music today, and “Sleeper” is the album that’s unlike pretty much anything he’s ever put out.
Most of the songs on “Sleeper” are catchy, reverb-laden acoustic tracks that remind me of a straightforward Syd Barrett LP, except it’s far less abstract in terms of lyrical content. In fact, “Sleeper” could be Ty’s least abstract release yet. It’s slow, melancholy, and completely lacking in any positive energy; a total anomaly in a career full of DIY, good-times, lo-fi punk releases.
As risky and listenable as “Sleeper” is, it’s not nearly as enjoyable or even as good as albums like last year’s “Slaughterhouse,” which was the first album under the Ty Segall Band name. “Sleeper” is part Sgt. Peppers, part Houses of the Holy, part Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and all Ty Segall, but it’s not the Ty Segall we know and love. It’s the Ty Segall who’s currently going through a rough period in his life, and decided to commemorate that period with another album in his already extensive career. It may not be his best release ever, but it’s a step in an interesting direction for a new cult hero that is known for taking many, many steps in his young life.
SCORE – 7.1
FAVORITE TRACKS – Sleeper, The Keepers, The Man Man, She Don’t Care, Queen Lullabye, The West