The man in the tree has a guitar, he’s gonna sing. But the sun shining through the branches— are those rays yellow or hazy gray? What day is today? When are you not going to feel this way again?
“Hello, Hi”: welcome in to a new room to play the styles and feels that lie under Ty Segall’s fingers, easing fresh air into acoustic space with an assortment of love songs flowering in righteous unconsciousness. Plaintive and wistful, but unafraid. Like rain washing away yesterday, “Hello, Hi” pushes open the door, inviting the new to pass through all the old shades and degrees of hot and cold. Dark paths turn off abruptly into absurd darkness, then wind back through the broken rocks, ecstatic again. Absurdity again. It happens everyday.
“Hello, Hi” is expansively rendered by Ty, mostly by himself, at home. The isolation suits the songs: you’re only ever as “at home” as you are with yourself in the mirror. Ty’s acoustic and electric guitars and vocal harmonies layer self upon self, forming a spiny backbone for the album. Textures at once gentle and dissonant root the songs as they make their move: melodic arcs convulsing in doubt and bliss and rage. Busting out of the endless gridlock into open space, these spirits pass on through.
“Hello, Hi”’s flickering awakening to this trip: the opening three tracks’ train of sweet and salty reflections, before the abrupt crunch of the title track electrifies the senses. Good morning’s turned to good mourning in nothing flat, but there’s still a way up from the doldrums, to try again. Why can’t it be just as simple as “Hello, Hi”? What to do with yourself when love triggers loathing? How many more times do you have to go back there again? Pulling at the scratchy wool threads of an old sweater favored for warmth, comfort, protection, rejection, denial, blindness etc, Ty Segall dives from a clear, open sky, down through the marine layer and the shimmering waves of all the years.
Radiating from the same mind fields as Goodbye Bread and Sleeper, mixed with shard edges of contrast and contradiction from things like Freedom’s Goblin, Manipulator, and First Taste, “Hello, Hi” is Ty’s most relaxed and complete production to date, an ebb-and flow fusion of words and music offering abstraction and acceptance as it wrestles itself through a fucked-up time. Your life and what you make of it — throughout “Hello, Hi,” Ty Segall charts a passage through its enduring tangles honestly, with clarity and confusion.