Technology and Heartbreak for Grandaddy
It has been over ten years since Grandaddy have released any new music and their 2017 album Last Place marks a grand return. This Modesto, CA-based band were most active in the late nineties and early 2000s. Their critically acclaimed 2000 release The Sophtware Slump brought Grandaddy into the sphere of pop culture and solidified their place in the indie music world.
Their newest release, Last Place, brings back Jason Lytle’s signature thoughtful lyrics paired beautifully with lo-fi guitar and drums. The album opens with “Way We Won’t,” the lo-fi pop anthem of which any native Californian dreams. With lyrics like, “cinnamon smells and holiday sales / why would we ever move / damned if we do / dumb if we don’t,” it is paradise for the heavy-hearted. It then transitions into the electronica-heavy “Brush with the Wild” where Lytle tricks the listener into thinking that he or she is listening to happy surf pop. Instead, this track focuses on a breakup and the lead singer’s struggles with his own flaws. The song “The Boat is in the Barn” is one of the saddest tracks on the record. Lytle combines themes of technology and love in the modern age. He sings, “and you were going through the photos on your phone / you looked so happy and you need to be there all alone / getting rid of all of me is what I figured / delete, delete everything that had occurred.” Much like Sophtware Slump, there is an overarching theme of technology and the role that it plays in out daily lives. While this record is about a breakup, it is equally about the future and how phones, computers and social media will impact life. This discussion of technology does not end there and other songs that stand out on the record include “Evermore,” “I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore” and “A Lost Machine.”
Despite the fact that Grandaddy did not produce a new record for over decade, they have returned and picked up right where they left off. Some of their greatest songs have been about the advances in technology. On Last Place, this topic, paired with that of love and heartbreak, proves to be a worthy and successful marriage between two themes.