When Grandaddy broke up in 2006, it could have spelled the end for front man Jason Lytle‘s career. Fraught with tension and years past their prime, the group had already parted ways by the time their final album, Just Like The Fambly Cat, was released to faint fanfare. Lytle disappeared from the public eye, abandoning his hometown of Modesto, CA for the quietude of Montana.
But, in 2008, he quietly reemerged to sign a solo deal with ANTI- Records. The resulting album, Yours Truly, the Commuter, finally answered the question of exactly what Lytle had been doing with his time since the band split; he had been getting his groove back.
Yours Truly is an outstanding record, every bit as good as classic Grandaddy works Sumday and The Sophtware Slump. It maintains the moody longing fans have come to expect, but marries it with exquisite production and a transcendent atmosphere of hope. The album is easily one of this yearâ€™s best, and marks the first chapter in a creative renaissance for the songwriter. So, to celebrate his comeback year in style, Lytle has just released a surprise EP as a Christmas gift to his fans.
Appropriately titled Merry X-Mas 2009, the EP features seven original piano compositions. The hauntingly beautiful tracks serve not just as a nice treat for fans, but as a well-deserved victory lap for Lytle. Though it isn’t quite Christmas yet, you can download the album for free right now. And because no gift is complete without a card, the generous songwriter wrote the following note to accompany the download:
It is approximately Christmas 2009, and I am letting whoever you are know that I have a gift for you, if you want it.
I set up some microphones in my living room and recorded about 35 minutes of improvisational piano music, and……It just so happens that playing my piano at home is one of my favorite things to do (in terms of music) so it was nice to be able to capture some of these moments of me just playing aimlessly and relaxed.
Soâ€¦.in appreciation to those of you who bought my album this year, or came to the shows, or donated money to help my sister, or even to those of you who did none of those thingsâ€¦.here is a gift from me.
I hope you all had a good year and that next year will be even better!
In other news, the ellipsis-loving Lytle has begun work on his follow-up to Yours Truly, the Commuter, which he describes as being â€œthe weirdest, most wonderful mayhemâ€ he has ever created, and which he guarantees won’t be the least bit radio friendly. But, as long as the album finds Lytle continuing his hot streak, it ought to be nothing short of exhilarating.