“Good morning lady / We can stay inside / The world is where we both live / On the pillows we are fine,” Ty Segall starts on his new freak folk acoustic album, “Hello, Hi.” Although he had already released, Harmonizer, in 2021, this seems like his lockdown record, for sure. With a picture of his wife on the cover with his guitar in a tree, an image that captures the sweetness of their relationship on this album, you get the sense that maybe he wrote a lot of these songs to entertain her and himself, during the dragging days.
“So sing me a distraction / I want to know what happens / We’ll take a walk outside.” Morning, night, outside, inside, Saturday nights (which he has two songs about on this album). All the simple pleasures of life are magnified in a time when you couldn’t do much else. He even shares a super sweet love song, with guitar, a la George Harrison, where he speaks about seeing his love, like “for the very first time.”
In fact this album never would have likely existed without the Beatles. Ty channels John Lennon on a number of tracks, but manages to write songs that are, to me, a lot more pleasing than anything that Lennon ever wrote. The acoustic guitar is the feature of this record. In good Ty Segall form, he’s mixing things up yet again. But there are some harder moments on the album as well (like the perfectly crunchy guitar on the title track), which keep the songs from ever falling into insipid repetition. The saxophone break down at the end of “Saturday Pt. 2” is like heaven’s gates opening, perhaps much like a Saturday with his wife felt: “You and I on Saturday / We can begin to play.”
There are moments of serious self-reflection as well. Like on the loping acoustic rocker “Over,” where he sings, “All the mistakes I’ve made / Are why I am me.” But over all it is a shared experience. In the penultimate beautiful acoustic song, “Don’t Lie,” he sings, “As long as the truth is with you / Your love will be good / Don’t lie.” It is a playful album that makes you that feels a bit like being a fly on the wall in one couple’s relationship, during a difficult time. And how creative love carried many people through.
It’s a short album, but injects you with super feelings of joy and hope, in words and sound. It is experimental, as Ty tends to be (something that helps win me over, over Lennon’s stuff before him), but manages to be a song of pretty pleasing hits. Another success from a man who has an output like a fire house that never seems to turn off. His next offering is bound to be something completely different. But this is a good diary of love in a pretty trying time.
Order Hello, Hi by Ty Segall HERE