Grandaddy returns with his latest record, Last Place, and it’s one that certainly seems to have resonated with us. Wyndham Wallace reviews…
[30th Century Records]
Strictly speaking, Grandaddy are an indie band. Still, there’s something about Jason Lytle’s approach which suggests that, in another life, he’d be writing pop hits. Indeed, his choice of primitive keyboards suggests he’s simply made a strength of financial limitations: these crop up again and again, provoking irrepressible grins and outlining bittersweet melodies like Evermore’s, where a killer tune lurks behind often-grubby guitar chords. This, perhaps, is why Danger Mouse – a long-term fan who worked with Lytle on Dark Night Of The Soul, his collaboration with Sparklehorse – has signed Grandaddy for their first album since Lytle called time on the project back in 2006.
With luck, his golden touch will bring Lytle a wider audience, because the gorgeous Last Place recalls 2000’s influential The Sophtware Slump. Sure, there are more experimental, hasty numbers, like the breathless Chek Injin and the short instrumental, Oh She Deleter, but Way We Won’t offers a deliciously naïve lethargy, and The Boat Is In The Barn sounds like a reanimated, excitable John Lennon. The addition of strings to This Is The Part underlines Lytle’s exquisite melancholy, but it’s the manner in which he finds salvation in the doleful A Lost Machine that really makes this indispensable. Indie, schmindie.