If you have been reading this review column for the past couple of years, there’s one thing that you should realize by now. At least once a year I’m going to write about a certain musician’s new album due to his immense talent and his continuously prolific output. That certain musician is Los Angeles garage rock phenom Ty Segall, and his 10th album Freedom’s Goblin came out Jan 26 via Drag City Records. The album is a lot more wide-ranging and experimental than his previous releases. Nothing sounds similar to another, and that says a lot for a record that has 19 songs on it.
Certain albums can take the mind on an adventure and Freedom’s Goblin achieves that through its variety. It goes from one end of the spectrum to the other with tunes encompassing jazz, punk, new wave and acoustic styles. It’s ingenious and schizophrenic at the same time. Usually a record follows an identity, but this one is the antithesis of that. Segall’s new artistic output is truly all over the place and that’s what makes it so amazing.
One trait that a musical savant will always possess is an incredible amount of fearlessness: They’ll write a song how they want without conforming to what’s “popular” or “trendy.” It’s a testament to them staying true to themselves while also making a conscious effort to progress as an artist. There’s a sense of sheer individuality that’s inspiring and makes one wish others would emulate. Segall has always been one to do his own thing and never be swayed by the mainstream. For a closer look, let’s examine my top tracks off of the Album of the Week:
“5 Ft Tall” has an unplugged beginning and then it gets electrifying with vibrant rhythms and raucous riffs; the energy is massive and it’s a sizzling song that the ears will want to hear at a high volume on repeat. Reminiscent of the storied New York City late ‘70s No Wave scene is “Talkin 3,” and fans of James Chance & The Contortions will enjoy the blaring sax and chaotic vibe. A funky synth disco sound makes up the weirdness of “Despoiler Cadaver” with vintage English new wave flair.
Sadly, Ty Segall has no shows announced in the New England area as of this writing, but 2018 is still in its infancy so who knows? Maybe some dates will be unveiled in the coming months and one of them will be in our neck of the woods. Segall live is a must-see experience, so when he’s coming through your town you better go. For now, get yourself a copy of Freedom’s Goblin: It’s an album that has a whole lot to offer and then some.
Web site: ty-segall.com