Ty Segall – Three Bells

Prolific garage-nik Ty Segall continues to zig when you expect a zag – Three Bells is packed with tonal shifts and unexpected moments

Album Review by Lewis Wade | 22 Jan 2024
  • Ty Segall – Three Bells
Album title: Three Bells
Artist: Ty Segall
Label: Drag City
Release date: 26 Jan

The latest opus from Ty Segall is a paranoid, claustrophobic enigma. He can still shred with the best of them (Wait, Hi Dee Dee, Watcher), but across this hour-plus album he revels in upending expectations, whether through abrupt tonal shifts (To You's new age synth excursions, Void's trippy synth hits), fried-metal no-wave (The Bell), or even a regular rocker that could pass for early Radiohead (Reflections).

He gets a little help from his wife, Denée, on five songs, and when her deadpan vocals arrive during Move it's a welcome but sharp contrast to his own keening falsetto. Although there are lovely odes to her (Denée) and to friendship (My Best Friend), there is also plenty of nonsense (Hi Dee Dee, Eggman) and a trip down the meta-wormhole for the ages in Repetition, which consists of just the song's title and the word 'ringing' repeated ad nauseam.

Two brilliant Segall epics open the album, both mini-odysseys that the rest of the album can't quite match. But almost an hour later he and Denée close with What Can We Do; a loose, twangy affair. They answer the existential question in a way that's wildly unsatisfying and right on brand: 'I know what to do / Me and you / ...la la la la'. In Segall country, that's about as near to closure as we're likely to get.

Listen to: Void, The Bell