Ty Segall is one of the more prolific artists today, releasing, on average, about one new studio album a year for probably better than a decade now. About four months ago he gave us his offering for 2022, a stripped-down, much more acoustic album dubbed Hello, Hi.
In this post, I’ll be doing a deep dive on the LP and giving my vinyl copy a solid unboxing. But first, a quick overview of Ty’s new album.
Hello, Hi was released July 22, 2022 on Segall’s longtime label Drag City. Segall and Drag City eschew the trend of the day, which is to put out a truly ridiculous number of versions. Instead, our options are really just limited to one version per format: a CD, a cassette, and a vinyl record. One each.
And to me, that’s kind of refreshing.
(An aside: there do appear to be variants of the cassette, but one consists of album demos and the other is listed as “Dubs” so it appears the variant is in the content itself, not necessarily an alternate physical version.)
Unboxing Ty Segall’s Hello, Hi on Vinyl
As I mentioned, there is currently just one version available on vinyl, and it’s your standard black vinyl version. This one appears to be on thicker wax, and while Drag City doesn’t plug it as such it appears to be 180 gram vinyl.
What this means, is that once the original black vinyl pressing goes out of print, it’ll likely be reissued again on black vinyl but may come on your standard weight wax. Now, I’m not entirely sure if this is how Drag City operates, but that’s historically how first pressings have gone.
These types of reissues are pretty standard, and again it’s unknown as to whether the weight or etching and stamping in the dead wax just outside the label (the Matrix / Runout) will get adjusted as well. I’ve seen it go both ways in terms of the Matrix / Runout etches and stamps, but they typically end up different, which is why a lot of popular classic releases you’ll find on Discogs have so many variations. For such releases, pressing plants sometimes include their own callout in the dead wax.
Here’s my Unboxing Video, which also includes a filmed version of my album review:
Hello, Hi Album Review
As noted by Pitchfork’s coverage of the album, Hello, Hi shares an “origin story” with last year’s album Harmonizer as it too was recorded at Harmonizer Studios, a workspace Segall set up at his home in California.
Here’s what Drag City writes about the album:
Tossing down straight acoustic shots with electric guitar back, “Hello, Hi” rides through the valley of yer ol’ Canyon legends, finding an isolated place to unspool Ty‘s copious reserves of nervous energy beneath an open sky.Drag City Product Page for Hello, Hi by Ty Segall
The first thing I heard off Hello, Hi, and ultimately what led me to grab the album (aside from being a solid Ty Segall fan), was the track “Don’t Lie.” In a bit of a rarity for a Ty Segall studio album, he’s included a cover. Not just any, but one of my favorite tracks by the now defunct San Francisco band Mantles. Here’s the Mantles original here, off their self-titled debut LP from 2009:
Compare that to Segall’s rendition with blends a trio of his personal style, The Mantles’ original, and hell, even a hint of Marc Bolan (T. Rex):
Segall has always Defied pigeon holing himself into one style or sub-genre. You never truly know what you’re going to get, but with relative confidence, you damn well know it’ll be good.
That holds true here. Hello, Hi was a bit of a surprise given its overall dominance of the acoustic guitar. It’s a lot more similar to Sleeper than the driving heavy garage sound of Twins, the incredibly quirky Emotional Mugger, or even last year’s sludgy synth-heavy Harmonizer.
As with the slightly more subdued Sleeper, Segall’s occasional whit and humor take a back seat in favor of something a bit more heartfelt. That’s what stands out to me on Hello, Hi. It feels honest, more vulnerable, and a bit introspective. And it propels the album to surprising heights despite the (mostly) softer sounds.
Yet, it’s not without an occasional punch, as found on the much more electrified title track. That track and others like “Saturday Pt. 2” and “Good Morning” are additional album standouts. Listen to “Hello, Hi” below:
“Saturday Pt. 2” is a phenomenal track that emphasizes those introspective lyrics. It also features longtime Ty Segall cohort Mikal Cronin lending his expertise on saxophone.
In a room we are waitingOpening Lyrics to “Saturday Pt. 2”
Living life behind closed doors
Only singing about the flat end
Painted drywall and concrete floors