First Taste is an introspective set for Segall after the extroversion of 2018's Freedom's Goblin. Lines of struggle wind through the songs as Segall reflects on family, re-encountering pasts, anticipating futures. He skates through oneness, self-esteem, the parents – all the joys of a rain-filled childhood – while reaching outward in the here and now, feeling for a shared pulse.
Meanwhile, the production is far out! Segall's creative juices suggested some radical (in the older sense of the word) new instrumental territories: koto, recorder, bouzouki, harmoniser, mandolin, saxophones and brass, voices, and a sprinkling of keys. Segall occupies the drumset whenever it's heard on the left speaker, while Charles Moothart plays the kit on the right side. Segall's vocal prowess sits in fresh relief against his mutant orchestra, spooling tension through some of his most patient songs, his feral scream in complete control. Whatever the mood is, the pedal is pushed cleanly to the metal – and that means to the max of the lightest ballads ever, OR through the most raging rocks yet. Segall's song designs are all over the place, but unlike the freewheeling feast style of Freedom's Goblin, these twelve numbers form a tightly revolving cycle of song and sound that focuses thoughts.