Somewhere between his burgeoning list of bands and occasional soundtrack tangents, Ty Segall finds time to churn out a yearly stream of albums ranging from hard-rock punk to softer, more psychedelic offerings such as his latest, Hello, Hi. Closer in tone to some of Segall’s acoustic based work on Sleeper, the brief collection pulls the listener through dreamlike songs that don’t resolve as would be expected—making the stronger resolutions that much more satisfying when they do occur, as on “Saturday Pt. 2” and “Distraction.”
Many of the songs live between The Beatles’s “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Long, Long, Long,” with a bucolic sense of wonder and awakening. The variety of unusual chord changes and oddly-chosen notes create a pleasant dissonance that pervades much of the album, with only “Hello, Hi” developing a harder, grunge-rock edge. “Looking At You” combines the best of the two Segall extremes with a song that starts as a mellow folk track before changing into a trippy rock piece with some of the album’s best guitar phrases.
As one would expect with any Ty Segall recording, the music and the ideas are far from normal—mostly for the better here. And although not every diversion on Hello, Hi hits the mark, the album is ambitious, interesting, and near the top of his best efforts to date.