The Scarlet Scroll

OC native Ty Segall refines indie sound on latest record

Album+art+courtesy+of+Drag+City+Records
Album art courtesy of Drag City Records

Album art courtesy of Drag City Records

Album art courtesy of Drag City Records

Holly Nance, Marketing Manager

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For almost 10 years, Orange County native Ty Segall has been defining indie rock as a versatile genre worthy of solo artists. Hailing locally from Laguna Beach, Segall began his career as a member of several local bands playing at small OC venues like The Sandpiper Lounge in Laguna Beach, which he returned to this month to perform. His recent release, a double album called Freedom’s Goblin, cements Segall as one of the greats in indie rock.

Segall differentiates himself from traditional garage rock with his insightful lyrics and softer guitar riffs. The softer melody of “My Lady’s On Fire” is reminiscent of a time in music before heavy guitars, and the simple tune accentuates his musicality and growing lyrical talent. This song is undoubtedly the standout of the album; if you’re only going to listen to one song, make it this one. From the acoustic guitar, to the emotive vocals and the ending saxophone solo, this song captures the essence of the album in its entirety.

The album begins with “Fanny Dog,” a guitar-heavy song accentuated by several repeating riffs; the song is a standout despite the ordinary subject matter: Segall’s pet dog. While the lyrics are simple, the music is anything but; this balance of intricacy within the music and the relatability of the topic creates a masterpiece.

Segall’s new record includes a cover of Hot Chocolate’s 1978 single “Every1’s a Winner” with guest drummer Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live and Portlandia. Segall revamped the disco style reverb of the original song by switching it out for a more modern, jangly sound with harsher, less melodic vocals. These changes highlight Segall’s avant-garde stylistic choices and artistry as a musician.

“Cry Cry Cry,” “You Say All the Nice Things” and “I’m Free” are all characterized by an acoustic guitar and softer lyrics, and each one is powerful in its own way. “Cry Cry Cry” shares a story of a deeply personal moment – a breakup – and echoes its honesty with the listener. “You Say All the Nice Things” is reminiscent of Segall’s older, harsher music, while “I’m Free” seems to set the tone for the future of his music career with its upbeat message of hope.

Segall has been heralded as one of the best new voices in rock, and Freedom’s Goblin does not disappoint. Segall’s balance between softer acoustic songs and full rock anthems gives him versatility and a wider range of relatability. Segall has found his voice in rock music, and this album further cements him as someone worth listening to.

Freedom’s Goblin can be streamed on Apple Music. Segall has an upcoming concert date at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles next Wednesday; and tickets can be purchased here.

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OC native Ty Segall refines indie sound on latest record