Ty Segall - Sleeper - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ty Segall - Sleeper

by Daryl Worthington Rating:8 Release Date:2013-08-19

Ty Segall must be pretty knackered by now. The last few years have been a relentless run of studio albums, collaborations and touring that would take its toll on even the most resilient (check his Wikipedia to see just how much music he has released recently). Of course, I'm hear reviewing a new Ty Segall album (just him on his own this time), which tells you he isn't showing signs of relaxing into U2's release schedule anytime soon.

The press release for Sleeper talks about the album being made in the break after a recent tour finished, and it sounds shaped by the introspection and mental and physical exhaustion which follows months of playing in sweaty basements and sleeping on strangers' sofas. The title track and opener is a dazed acoustic love song, which has Segall's weary voice hollering: 'I wanna sleep all day with you". The slow strums and gentle violins which float through the song leave no doubt that the longing for rest is just as vital as that for intimacy.

'Queen Lullabye' sounds like 'Children of the Revolution' turned into an insomniac's love song. The gritty production feels like a late-night recording on a cheap four track. The weird droning ending is one of the few moments where Segall demonstrates his electric guitar pyrotechnics on the album, but here it is used to create a warm blanket of sound, rather than the urgent sense of movement found on previous albums.

The sense of a come-down from Segalls intense existence of the last few years crops up throughout the album. Whereas last year's 'Twins' had an enjoyable but disorientating knack of shifting style for every song, Sleeper sticks to an acoustic guitar foundation throughout. 'The West' is a fast paced, ramshackle acoustic strum along that sounds ripe for inclusion in the soundtrack to the next indie teen-drama movie. The repeated lines of "Where do I go home?" and "I don't really want to wait around" capture as well as any Kerouac novel the restless dislocation of youth. It is probably the most upbeat song on the album, but still it sounds influenced by reflection of a life on the road.

Despite the softer core of the music, the eccentric eclecticism of previous releases can still be found here. His voice's uncanny resemblance to John Lennon's is put to good effect on 'She Don't Care for You', a string-backed inversion of The Beatles 'She Loves You'. 'The Man Man' has a creepy narrative of "crawling up the river to your skull", and gets more unnerving each time you listen to it. 'The Keepers' is simultaneously an existential drama and environmentalist rant, and has the same knack for engaging a huge scope in a three-and-a-half minute song as Arthur Lee demonstrated on Forever Changes.

Sleeper seems to capture the inevitable come-down which Segall's life must sometimes trigger, a brief moment for introspection before launching into whatever comes next. Indeed, 'The West's place at the end of the album seems to signal the moment Segalls batteries recharge, and he starts psyching himself for the next step. It might not have the energy of his last couple of albums but it would probably be impossible for Segall to just duplicate what he's done before with any sincerity. What we get instead is a set of songs which effectively capture a certain moment in the songwriter's life, and provide a nice addition to his ever expanding and evermore diverse discography.

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