Album Review: Ty Segall & White Fence – Joy

Words by Isabella McHardy

Ty Segall and White Fence have teamed up once again on their new album Joy, just in time to add some eccentricity to your summer playlist. Following their 2012 collaboration, Hair, the garage-rock duo have created fifteen new tracks. Segall, the multi-instrumentalist solo artist known for his sunny psychedelic bangers, brings waves of jangly reverb and thrashing riffs. Tim Presley (of White Fence) brings echoey piercing vocals and dream-like rhythm. Together they are psych-rock at its most intriguing. Each song is short, snappy and leaves you with a mouthful of questions.

White Fence and Ty Segall artwork

The album opens, of course, with ‘Beginning’, an under two-minute track that hasn’t quite decided what it wants to be. The tempo chops and changes, starting with layered vocals and a steady drum beat before throwing in a slow stretched-out riff. It hops between slow and fast before ending abruptly. There’s no time to figure it out.

Some songs feel incomplete, like bedroom demos most bands wouldn’t let see the light of day. But one thing is clear: Tim and Ty do not care. ‘Room Connector’, the fourth track on the album, is 47 seconds of instrumental simplicity. Its length is unsatisfying and the song itself is far from groundbreaking, but before you have time to question it you are rushed off to the next one. ‘Rock Flute’, takes this to the extreme as the shortest track on the album. It’s less than 30 seconds of squeaky nothingness, throwing the thoughtful production values of their peers back in their faces.

One of the singles from the album, ‘Good Boy’, sticks perfectly to the script. The pace floats where it wants, skipping from sleepy folk influences to Beatles-esque vocals. The entire album is filled with beautifully nonsensical lyrics, layered upon each other, each line taking on a new tone, mimicking conversations within each song. “He’s a good boy, she’s a good boy, we are good boys now”, Tim chants. You can’t help but agree.

‘Body Behaviour” is one of the catchiest songs on the album. It begins with a jangly riff straight from the 70s and oozes with tempting twists and turns. The chorus and a wave of uncontrollable foot-tapping come hand in hand. It sticks out as one of the strongest and most cohesive tracks from the pair to date.

White Fang bring the mellow and Ty Segall brings the edge. Joy is an album of detours. It’s full of fuzz, question marks and excitement.