Ty Segall: Twins (Drag City, 10/9/12)
On last year’s Goodbye Bread, garage-rock singer-songwriter Ty Segall displayed a newfound sense of maturity — most notably on “Comfortable Home (A True Story),” in which he announced the rather adult decision to invest in some real estate. Now the San Francisco wunderkind prematurely grapples with his own mortality on his newest solo release. “Took 22 years to die / 22 years to lose to my mind,” he laments amid the grinding guitars of “Ghost,” imagining himself as a specter who haunts the California coast. It’s heavy stuff — musically and lyrically — especially from a guy who used to sing about girlfriends and Coca-Cola.
These morbid sentiments don’t pervade the entirety of Twins, the rest of which casts Segall as a young lover awash in Beatles-indebted melodies filtered through thick, grimy distortions a là Big Business or Lightning Bolt. And he hasn’t entirely abandoned lean, fist-pumping rockers like “You’re the Doctor,” but either way, Segall truly shines when he embraces his gifts as a singer-songwriter. Paired with a female vocalist on the John Lennon-esque “The Hill” or harmonizing atop the gentle acoustic strum of “Gold on the Shore,” his song-craft is as adept as ever, even when it’s not blowing out speakers. A fitting finale to his trifecta of releases this year, Twins finds Segall not so much settling down as settling in.