Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Dept. of Disappearance” by Jason Lytle from the 2012 album Dept. of Disappearance on ANTI-.
First gaining recognition as the frontman for the Modesto, California-formed group Grandaddy, Jason Lytle has carved a name out for himself as one of the the most singular songwriters and insular studio musicians of the last fifteen years. Grandaddy’s brand of spaced-out guitar rock drew a notable fanbase in the British Isles, but widespread success in their native country continued to elude them, and the band officially dissolved in January 2006. Lytle, who has always crafted a great deal of the material by himself in the studio, continued on under a solo moniker, and after a solo LP and another album with Admiral Radley (including members of Earlimart and Grandaddy’s Aaron Burtch), he found himself reuniting with Grandaddy for a series of shows while concurrently making a new solo album earlier this year. The opening and title track the resulting album, “Dept. of Disappearance” finds Lytle playing to his strengths. Augmented with an eerie aura, Lytle’s bluntly cryptic songwriting steals the spotlight as much as it ever did in Grandaddy’s strongest moments. With lines like “I’ll take it to the mountain, I’ll fade away into the trees/a shadow on a landscape, a memory of some scenery”, he’s as cryptic and alluring as ever, and if the recent Grandaddy reunion shows are anything to go by, he’s got more energy than ever.
Jason is going back on tour in support of Dept. of Disappearance in late November, but after playing Barboza earlier this month, he doesn’t have any further dates in the Pacific Northwest. Keep track of Jason’s whereabouts on Facebook and his website, and watch the video for the Dept. of Disappearance track “Your Final Setting Sun” below.