By Ian Bremner
“The Freedom Band” (his band). “Freedom’s” Goblin” (his new album). “I’m Free” (a song from said album.) There is a constant theme throughout Ty Segall’s latest effort, freedom.
Freedom’s Goblin is a 19-track, 75-minute, double LP from Orange County’s most musically restless son. Ty Segall is on about a one-record-per-year schedule these days, which would be a lot to ask for most other artists, but is actually a much slower pace than in years past for him. Perhaps that is the reason he could not resist packing this new record full of every artistic urge he had. The Freedom Band, which includes Mikal Cronin, The Cairo Gang’s Emmett Kelley, and Charles Moothart, all with impressive solo resumes in their own right, contribute equally to the eclectic goblin-y sounds. Cronin lends his saxophone talents on multiple songs, adding new layers and a sunny-pop flavor.
Despite just turning 30, Segall’s extensive historical output allows you to see maturity and evolution more apparently than most artists. Sound, both noisy and melodic, is still at the forefront of everything he does, but recently there is a noticeably stronger emphasis on the songwriting. Tunes like Rain, Cry Cry Cry, and My Lady’s On Fire showcase the mellower side of Ty, where Alta, and Meaning, and 5 Ft Tall still possess that signature fuzz and raucousness.
Where Freedom’s Goblin really differentiates itself, is it’s experimentation and well, freedom. Here, Ty Segall covers Every 1’s A Winner, the 1978 funk jam from Hot Chocolate. The deep pulsing groove of She will excite Black Sabbath fans and Despoiler of Cadaver sounds like it could be off a Prince or Talking Heads record, and yet, it all blends together beautifully.
As a Ty Segall fan, you can appreciate each album for what it is. Maybe it’s because you know the next project is coming down the pike before you know it. He has already expressed a desire to work on a hip hop album with Madlib. Though that seems far fetched, it’s not surprising in the least bit. In this case, Freedom’s Goblin is a wonder mix of pop and rock.
An hour and change later, the last track is a re-work of his own song, Sleeper. Retitled as And, Goodnight, Ty turns his sleepy acoustic song into a winding, plugged-in, 12-minute screamer, in what is a near perfect representation of the freedom and whimsical nature of Freedom’s Goblin.
BUY the record on Drag City Records HERE
Listen to Freedom’s Goblin in full
Alta from the KCRW studios
Fanny Dog from Conan
Despoiler of Cadaver from the KCRW studios