Featured album posts are back! Each week we will feature four of our favorite albums going into rotation complete with reviews written by members of our music staff. Our first two selections from this week are Ty Segall and No Age. Enjoy! – Nathan Kerce, blog director.
Losing someone close to you is hard. Losing a parent is worse. Coping with death is a hard thing for anyone to do. Most of us mope around, inconsolable for months, years even. Prior to writing this Sleeper, Ty Segall lost his father to a battle with cancer. This sad fact shaped the album to be unlike anything that Segall has released thus far. Gone are the spastic fuzzed out guitar licks; Gone are almost all of the psychedelic flourishes that colored many of his songs. The tragic loss of his father (and subsequent cessation of contact with his mother) has caused a dramatic shift in tone for Segall. This mostly acoustic album is drenched in the pensive loneliness that most likely dominated Segall’s life during its conception with lyrical themes of loss, sadness and longing. However, do not write this album off as a simple sob story. This is some of the most engaging music that Segall has ever written, his rock-solid song craft taking center stage with his acoustic guitar, trademark voice and even some strings. While the album thoroughly rocks, this is not the same Ty Segall that made Twins or Melted. This melancholy gem will stick in your mind like a sad yet sweet memory of the past that you could just leave alone, but you don’t really want to. – Sebastian Marquez
Sub-Pop’s noisy LA duo is back with a garishly packaged neon green and orange album cover that screams An Object with every bit of punctuation they felt like rounding up. It’s a harsh haphazard combination of elements that shouldn’t look so fantastic together. Yet it’s bold and blinding and somehow completely compelling. The music is precisely the same, in it’s “Why do I like this, I love this, I could see people not liking this-” way. The album art is an integral part of An Object’s messy, abstract DIY aesthetic. If the cover looks like it was made from askew type and scraps found on the floor of a graphic design studio its because the album itself sounds like odd bits and pieces of melody and samples scraped together into songs. If the colours seem harsh yet coherent, its because the album itself is a held together cacophony. An Object An Object? An Object is homemade eccentric punk with a heavy avant-garde twist. They are weird but not willfully. They are noisy and fuzzy but not because they are trying to emulate anyone. Genre defying only because they come so close, just not close enough, to fitting in anywhere. They are fuzzy oddball little misfits, but they are confident in their sound, whatever it is. The album is as uncertain and pieced together as the album art but like the cover art it totally, totally works. – Brett Bennett
Editor: Nathan Kerce