Grandaddy – Blu Wav

Jason Lytle finally comes down to earth for a startlingly assured embrace of alt-country

Album Review by Joe Goggins | 14 Feb 2024
  • Grandaddy – Blu Wav
Album title: Blu Wav
Artist: Grandaddy
Label: Dangerbird
Release date: 16 Feb

The sixth record from Grandaddy is one of myriad surprises, not least the fact that they are only now, in 2024, releasing their sixth record. More startling a revelation than that, though, is that after three decades of deftly defying categorisation, frontman and chief creative force Jason Lytle actually appears to have picked a lane this time around – and it’s a handsome one, too. Grandaddy have had their flirtations with a countrified aesthetic in the past, albeit on the periphery of a sonic palette that chiefly planted itself somewhere between melodic indie rock and Spiritualized-esque space exploration.

On Blu Wav, though, the rustic feel is front and centre, with more than half the songs playing like swooning waltzes in the Americana style; the gorgeous Watercooler is a case in point, as is the woozy Cabin in My Mind, which sets the tone early on by making liberal use of slide guitar. Elsewhere, the central compass is inflected from time to time with squelches of synth that nod to the cosmic rock of old – after all, the title is a deliberate mash-up of bluegrass and new wave – but in the main, Blu Wav is Grandaddy’s most grounded album yet, a triumph of reinvention.

Listen to: Watercooler, Jukebox App, You’re Going to Be Fine and I’m Going to Hell