Week in Pop: Body Song, Scarves, Tom Brosseau

Post Author:

Ty Richards

Ty Richards explores the world of Zillion with us; press photo courtesy of the artist.
Ty Richards explores the world of Zillion with us; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Ty Richards is an Austin, TX artist who has just proven to be one of pop culture’s greatest chameleons of rock via the following premiere listen to his debut album Zillion. Available worldwide February 3, Richards has turned back the pages to center all attention & focus on creating the greatest summation on what we imagine is the full-length that Ty wants to hear on repeated succession. From the debut single that set the world on fire with “Shoulda Coulda Woulda”, Richards reels in a hit parade of his own design & choosing that offers up all the swagger that many fear has fallen by the wayside here in the digital age. Zillion depicts a commitment to a form of rock & roll that is ready to be enjoyed in any era, new or old, where attitidue & ability to kick out the jams serves as the modus operandi.
Ty Richards begins the entire album with the liftoff of “Spacemen” that sends Zillion into an electric-orbit spinning around our pale blue dot with blazing synths & plodding beats that fists pumps its way into new discovered dimensions. The throwback style mode of “Shoulda Coulda Woulda” rifles through all the alternative of missed opportunities & avenues unexplored that are mulled over with plenty of underscored bursts of electric guitar that highlight the chances that were never taken. “Uncle Ben” operates like a classic raging ballad from yesterday’s saloon bar rooms & derelict dive spaces where tales about wayward ne’er-do-wells live on in infamy. The scuzz momentum keeps on humming & buzzing with the make-out motions heard on “Kiss with the Lights Out”, right before the romantic & electro pop ballad “You Are a Star” sends everything shooting skyward toward new cosmic/galactic heavenly heights. Sci-fi/b-movie style of being mobbed by the nude masses are lampooned in the tongue-in-cheek “Naked Girls”, following up the comedy number with the sonic mastery of “She Can Count the Days” that feels like tripping lighyears toward an unknown destination that settles into a new life on a new planet on the acclimated “I Don’t Want to Come Home”. More points of no-return are explored on “Going out for a Cigarette” where a trip to the convenient store for more smokes turns into a big electrified pop number could have been a number one hit during the oughts. The final number of “Baby Baby Baby, Etc.” sends up one last lover’s rock ballad to lean on & dream on as the Zillion album trip arrives back, landing earthbound on the tarmac with the strangest sense of jetlag your mind can conjure.

Ty Richards provided us with the following exclusive prologue to his new labor of love—Zillion:

I’m excited to release my debut album Zillion. It’s like I poured all my favorite records into a blender and served it up. I wrote, performed, recorded, produced and mixed the album myself so you are getting something that’s potently me. Hopefully that’s a good thing. It’s absolutely based in my ingrained roots of psychedelic rock, but it also has some serious pop and dance sensibilities that make it super approachable. This record is as clever as it is “dumb”. When you listen to it you will understand what I mean. The timing is perfect though because it has a sense of hilarity that is much needed right now in this world. I feel more like I’m releasing a massive art installation more than just a bunch of ninety-nine cent songs, and I hope it’s received that way.
But I really believe this music is relevant in our time. I’m covering everything from sci-fi, super heroes, and sexuality all the way to future dreams and past regrets. Lyrically, I took a very abstract approach. But despite that fact, I get more concrete meaning from the songs on Zillion than my entire 18 years of songwriting combined. This album was heavily influenced by guys like Prince, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Beck. And every thing I make is shaped by my thick lens of rock and roll, shaped by the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, and Frank Zappa.
The album is strong, start to finish. Each song really holds it’s own. I poured some blood and sweat into the whole thing. It’s not one of those albums that you skip over to the 2 songs that don’t suck. You should just hit play and go on the journey. I did release a few singles, but Zillion really talks as a complete body of work. This is how it was intended to be heard. That being said, I would like to revive the album as an institution again. Albums in my opinion are the best way to be immersed in music and I hope they become popular again. This is the first of a long string of albums I plan to release. It’s taken me awhile to get here but I intend to keep this train rolling until I’m pushing up daisies.

Ty Richards’ new album Zillion will be available February 3.