Except for the addition of some pedal steel, wrap your ears around some quintessential Grandaddy
Indie stalwarts Grandaddy drop their latest sonic gem, “Watercooler,” setting the stage for their upcoming album release, “Blu Wav.” With a career steeped in storytelling, frontman Jason Lytle draws inspiration from the vast canvas of nature to those everyday moments that etch themselves into our memories.
“Watercooler” is a buoyant lead single that delves into the intriguing contrast between Lytle’s outdoorsy rock’n’roll lifestyle and his partner’s office-bound routine. It’s a sentiment that strikes a chord with many, capturing the ebb and flow of relationships in a lyrical tapestry that is quintessentially Grandaddy.
For the first time in their illustrious career, Grandaddy introduces the wailing cry of the pedal steel, adding a new dimension to their sound. Lytle himself exclaims, “It’s a first for Grandaddy, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about this fact.”
The upcoming album, “Blu Wav,” is an audacious concoction, fusing the heart of bluegrass with the pulse of new wave. Conceived during a drive through the Nevada desert, Lytle was serenaded by Patti Page’s “Tennessee Waltz” on a classic country station, igniting the creative spark for this audacious experiment. Picture the slow, soulful sway of bluegrass, coupled with the intricate layers of dense synthesizers and the electrifying beats of new wave. It’s a musical terrain where genres meld seamlessly, and Grandaddy is the trailblazer.
With 13 tracks in the lineup, “Blu Wav” boasts seven waltzes, a testament to the band’s daring exploration of musical forms. Lytle points out, “there’s an inordinate amount of pedal steel,” underscoring the album’s sonic adventure.
Grandaddy’s legacy looms large, punctuated by a recent wave of 20th-anniversary reissues, including the lauded “Sumday Twunny” box set, a Pitchfork ‘Best New Reissue’ awardee. Lytle’s poignant vocals on a posthumous Sparklehorse album, at the behest of the late Mark Linkous’ family, pay tribute to the enduring camaraderie among psychedelic pop maestros.
Comprising Jason Lytle, Aaron Burtch, Jim Fairchild, Tim Dryden, and the late Kevin Garcia, who left an indelible mark on the band before his untimely passing in 2017, Grandaddy continues to shape the musical landscape with their distinctive sound.
“Watercooler” is more than a single; it’s a testament to Grandaddy’s unwavering ability to evolve while staying true to their roots. As we eagerly await the full offering of “Blu Wav,” it’s clear that Grandaddy’s journey into the heart of bluegrass and new wave promises to be a transcendent experience for music lovers everywhere.
“Blu Wav” is slated to hit the shelves on February 16, 2024, courtesy of Dangerbird Records.