Grandaddy Chases A ‘Blu Wav’ Combining Bluegrass And New Wave Elements

[Cover photo credit to Dustin Aksland]

Storied Indie-Rock band Grandaddy has announced a new studio album Blu Wav set for release February 16, 2024 via Dangerbird Records.

Introducing pedal steel into the band’s work for the first time, lead singleWatercooler comments on the dichotomies in life. The song was inspired by Jason Lytle being an “outdoorsy rock guy” while his partner had an office job.

Lytle shares:

Most of my relationships have involved girls who worked in office settings. This song is about the end of one, or perhaps a few, of those relationships. Listeners will also notice the pedal steel on this track and eventually on many others from the forthcoming new album. It’s a first for Grandaddy, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about this fact.

With the album title Blu Wav is meant to be a literal mash-up of the genre terms “Bluegrass” and “New Wave”, the new collection has its own internal cohesion.

Jason Lytle shares that he was driving through the Nevada desert when Patti Page’s “Tennessee Waltz” came on the Classic Country station on the radio. He was intrigued by the possibilities of combining the bluegrass waltz with layers of dense synthesizers and the electronics of New Wave. For the new album, seven of its 13 songs are waltzes, and as Lytle notes, “There’s an inordinate amount of pedal steel.”

Grandaddy recently celebrated their legacy with a series of 20th anniversary reissues including the Sumday Twunny box set.

Lytle also contributed vocals to a posthumous Sparklehorse album by request of his friend and fellow Psychedelic Pop artist Mark Linkous’ family.