Grandaddy – Blue Wav

Though they started in the nineties, it was in the early aughts that one of the breakouts of the Echo Park Los Angeles indie music scene was Jason Lytle’s...
Grandaddy : Blue Wav
7.8 Dangerbird
2024 
Grandaddy : Blue Wav

Though they started in the nineties, it was in the early aughts that one of the breakouts of the Echo Park Los Angeles indie music scene was Jason Lytle’s Grandaddy. Beloved by hipster auteurs of a certain generation like Elliott Smith before (indeed, had opened for Smith back when), Grandaddy called it quits in 2006 as the music world moved on. But everything comes back in the twenty-first century, and so did Grandaddy with Last Place in 2017. Only not everything comes back, as bassist Kevin Garcia suddenly died, leading to the band’s seemingly permanent hiatus. But you can’t keep a good Grandaddy down, and in response to popular appeal the band has gotten back together, again, for the sweet and soft Blue Wav.

While retaining Lytle’s trademark fuzzy guitars and analog synthesizers, Blue Wav goes even more decidedly low-key, reaching alt-country terrain at times. Strongest is when Lytle’s touching emotion comes through, such as “Cabin in My Mind”, the powerful break-up “You’re Going to Be Fine and I’m Going to Hell” and the following office life “Watercooler”. There is a lot of airiness to the album, including multiple minute-plus instrumental tracks, and it can get a bit too much of a wash by the end.

So many of our favorites from the aughts never broke big like we both didn’t want them to and thought that they totally deserved (like favorites from the nineties, and the eighties, and…). It’s wonderful that despite all that and much more, Grandaddy are back and are Grandaddy as they ride their Blue Wav.

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