Ty Segall's 11 essential albums: A brief listening guide

Dig into the garage-pop prodigy's discography before venturing to the live show.

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Ty Segall

Ty Segall Photo courtesy Ty Segall

Since Ty Segall and his band are in NYC for a pair of shows this weekend—including a sold-out Webster Hall performance tonight—we thought it’d be a good time to offer a guide to the rocker’s extensive catalog. For the last half decade, Segall has been churning out albums at a dizzying rate—even for a fan, it can be a bit hard to keep up. The rundown below traces 11 highlights from his body of work, from most recent to oldest. Consider it calmly at your desk or at home before heading to the gig (or use it to soundtrack your other weekend plans). See our full preview here, and scroll down for a Spotify playlist of our favorite tracks.

  • Twins (2012): Segall's third album of 2012, the LP is his poppiest collection yet, with earwormy hooks and a vocal-focused mix. As a bridge between his knottier songs and slower psychedelic fare, it’s an ideal starting point.

  • Slaughterhouse (2012): The most unruly release Segall put out in 2012, the album—credited to Ty Segall Band—catches the live unit thrashing out on overdriven riffs and brain-vomit yelps. Listen for the bone-crunching riff of “Wave Goodbye” and imagine the mosh pit from Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit” video.

  • Hair (2012): For this record, Segall paired with California songwriter Tim Presley (White Fence) to churn out catchy Bowie/Bolan tunes with a lo-fi aesthetic. The results—especially slow-jam “Time” and the psychedelic "I Am Not A Game"—stand up to the best work of either songwriter.

  • Goodbye Bread (2011): Segall follows his glammy muse for an album about the non-sunny side of California. His Marc Bolan obsession—which also resulted in 2011's excellent “Ty Rex” covers EP—comes to a head on the relatively mellow record.

  • Melted (2010): Maybe Segall's most complete collection so far, the tunes are front to back stompers. This record is the template for the band’s raucous live sets and everything that has come since.

  • Lemons (2009): Here’s the first LP that's distinctively Segall, with noodly lead guitar and incredibly catchy melodies. The production is still relatively sparse, but the songs are some of his most memorable, especially the first few (oddly, “It #1” recently soundtracked a Yves Saint Laurent runway show).

  • Reverse Shark Attack (2009/reissued 2013): Segall joins with frequent bandmate Mikal Cronin, a capable songwriter in his own regard, for this echoey exploration into in-the-red home recording.

  • Ty Segall (2008): Instrumentally, it’s Segall's most minimal record—for the most part, his distorted guitar is paired only with a stomped bass drum and a tambourin. You can start to hear the beginning of experiments in falsetto hooks and bluesy breakdowns.

  • The Traditional Fools (2008/reissued 2013): Another rough hewn early project, check this out if you want a bit of a surfy twinge in your garage-pop.

  • Horn the Unicorn (2007): This collection of tunes is basically a demo tape, but surprisingly fully formed at that, despite some experiments that could have stayed in the basement (19 tracks is a lot to fill). You’ll hear fragments of Segall’s previous band, the Epsilons, in the insistent keyboard sound and general party vibe.

  • Fuzz single (2013): Back to new stuff: This single is Segall’s first release of the 2013, a collaboration with guitarist Charlie Moothart. It’s called Fuzz, so I’ll leave you to guess what it sounds like. Or just listen here.

Twins (2012): Segall's third album of 2012, the LP is his poppiest collection yet, with earwormy hooks and a vocal-focused mix. As a bridge between his knottier songs and slower psychedelic fare, it’s an ideal starting point.


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