Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New Grandaddy Album?!

Yesterday, Jason Lytle tweeted this:

GD, of course, is shorthand for Grandaddy, Lytle's scruffy sci-fi alt. rock band. After disbanding in 2006, Grandaddy reunited for a few gigs in 2012, but we haven't heard any new material from them since Just Like the Fambly Cat, which was released over nine years ago.

Frankly, I wasn't expecting to ever hear another new Grandaddy song (let alone a full album), and judging by the reaction to Jason Lytle's tweet, neither was anybody else:

However, it appears that Grandaddy are indeed hard at work on a new LP, and while we'll probably have to wait a while even to find out the release date, we can at least speculate on what the follow-up to Just Like the Fambly Cat might sound like.

I actually haven't heard Fambly Cat, but I *have* heard both of the solo albums that Jason Lytle has released since then:

Yours Truly, the Commuter and Dept. of Disappearance are both good albums, but they're not great and they're certainly not Grandaddy. The sound of Jason Lytle on his own admittedly isn't too far removed from the noodlings of his old crew, but somewhere in between Grandaddy's split and the release of Yours Truly, the scope of Lytle's ideas shrank dramatically.

It's probably to be expected that solo albums should be more personal than full-band efforts, but personal insight isn't really the main reason I like Grandaddy. Sure, it's not like Jason Lytle suddenly became Mark Kozelek (boo! hiss!) and released an album of journal entries and songs about his friends and family, but Yours Truly, the Commuter felt noticeably more down-to-earth than The Sophtware Slump and his other career highlights. Instead of suicidal robots and flooded roads and miners at the Dial-A-View, JL's solo debut found him singing about his dog and being excited for the weekend:

Fun? Sure, but Grandaddy it ain't. To be fair, Dept. of Disappearance did make more concessions to pretentious, high-concept stuff than its predecessor...

"If there were any deliberate attempts on this record, it was trying to get back to more of a fairy-tale-ish-fantasy thing that was once again rooted in reality, with drums, pianos and real instruments." - Jason Lytle, 2012

...but I'd still hope for more from a proper Grandaddy album. Here's hoping we get it; that Jason Lytle tweet does suggest that he's deliberately returning to the approaches he took with The Sophtware Slump, so fingers crossed!

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