Hopefully, writing “Sleeper” gave Segall the emotional release one so desperately needs after dealing with the passing of a loved one – and the family bullshit that sometimes goes hand in hand with that.
By Nikki M. Mascali
Gone is the explosive and swaggering Ty Segall of the past. The 2013 Ty Segall is mellow and reflective on his latest album, “Sleeper,” and rightfully so: The 10-song outing was heavily influenced by his father’s death and estrangement from his mother that followed.
Much of the album, on which Segall handled most of the instrumentation, would not be lost on ’60s-era radio or in the Beat houses of New York’s Greenwich Village in the days of Bob Dylan and friends.
The title track starts with a whistling wind, and a hearty guitar soon follows. Lush strings are understated and pair nicely with Segall’s ethereal vocals. “I want to sleep all day with you,” he sings so beseechingly that you want to curl up beside him, just to ensure he keeps singing.
“The Keepers” is slow-paced and moody before it fades out with a mishmash of instruments. Despite being about Segall’s aforementioned mother, “Crazy” is very ’60s, complete with its sunny sound, harmonies and catchy chorus. Most of “The Man Man” consists of just acoustic guitar and Segall’s vocals until the final minute or so when an electric guitar comes in and completely blows the song into the stratosphere.
More lush strings and some Beatles-esque harmonization are heard on the heart-wrenching “She Don’t Care,” while celestial vocals and various drums take the forefront of “Come Outside.”
The warped-sounding “6th Street” is very psychedelic, as is the jaunty “Sweet C.C.,” while “Queen Lullabye” is slow and loping before coming to a noisy end. Very Dylan-like guitars are showcased on closing track “The West.” In spite of Segall wondering, “Where do I go home/ Is it in, is it in the West to my father’s house,” the album ends on a jubilant note.
Hopefully, writing “Sleeper” gave Segall the emotional release one so desperately needs after dealing with the passing of a loved one – and the family bullshit that sometimes goes hand in hand with that. All that emotional baggage sure made for one hell of a record.