Ty Segall “Manipulator”


By Zoe K.

Ty Segall is basically the rock ‘n roll King Midas: everything he touches turns shiny and gold. His new album Manipulator is his latest gift, and it’s also his most polished and memorable release to date. It is epic and passionate, full of catchy guitar riffs, falsetto harmonies, and a driving drum beat that keeps the energy high. Tracks like “Feel” are downright groovy thanks to some fantastic bass-playing. The album has been meticulously crafted and it shows. There is not a single skippable track on the 60 minute album. The gift just keeps on giving.

Last year’s release Sleeper was largely a product of recent events in Ty’s life. The result was a personal, clean sound due to the mostly acoustic instrumentation. Manipulator is a return to the fuzzy, distorted sounds of his prior work. The lyrical themes range from confronting authority to feeling isolation to expressing oneself through art.

The influences of his music range from glam artists like T. Rex and David Bowie to Black Sabbath and Neil Young. But Manipulator is not just a patchwork quilt of sounds taken from all these different sources. The album is his creation made possible by all the rhythms and melodies floating through his head.

Part of Manipulator’s appeal is that it is accessible to anyone who loves music with great energy and a fair share of attitude. Now is the time for newcomers to check out Ty Segall for the first time and old fans to rekindle the flame of admiration. I only wonder what he’ll give us next.


Best of 2013 Staff Picks


By Katie M.


1. Ty Segall Sleeper

Ty Segall is known for shredding like a mad man and creating catchy guitar riffs, so when I first heard that he was coming out with an acoustic album I was a bit apprehensive. Luckily, this release only further proves Segall to be an increasingly interesting, multi-faceted musician.  The album’s subject matter is weighty: his father recently died, which subsequently led to a strain in his relationship with his mother.  I never imagined that a Ty Segall album could give me chills, but the intimate subject matter makes for his most heartfelt songs to date.

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2. Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin

After hearing Floating Coffin, Thee Oh Sees became my most listened to band of the year. I heard the album in the spring and continued to play it all summer long. At times psychedelic and paranoid and at others melodic, this album makes me excited to see what else this band has in store.

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3. The National Trouble Will Find Me

The National keep releasing great albums and Trouble Will Find Me is no exception. I’m a sucker for Matt Berninger’s deep, rich vocals and existential lyrics. The album doesn’t stray from their idiosyncratic sound, but I’m perfectly content with that because they do it so well.


4. Youth Lagoon Wondrous Bughouse

Youth Lagoon, which is the nom de plume of 24-year-old Trevor Powers, has a penchant for making excellent bedroom pop. On his sophomore album, Wondrous Bughouse he explores the human psyche and crafts melodic, poignant songs. For fans of Local Natives, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Animal Collective.

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5. Neil Young Live at the Cellar Door

This album was kept in the vault for 44 years and I’m grateful that it was finally released this year. The recordings come from six solo shows in late November and early December of 1970 and feature Neil Young switching between acoustic guitar and grand piano. The album is raw, beautiful, and intimate and features some of Young’s best songs, such as “Down By the River”, “After the Gold Rush”, and “See the Sky About to Rain”. You seriously can’t go wrong with this album.