Jason Lytle : Dept. Of Disappearance
Jason Lytle is a reclusive storyteller, his characters sitting awkwardly outside of society and looking in with a sense of wonder and anxiety. There was a transient presence to the commuter of his first solo album, 2009’s Yours Truly, The Commuter; now, his characters are barely there. “You are gone” is the backing vocal on the instantly lovable Young Saints, while the title track sets the scene for a department for people wanting to completely disappear. Even the spirited Get Up And Go (buoyed by the suspiciously insistent mantra “You Can Do It!”) has that feel of a warm, sunny day, but with that one ominous black cloud appearing in the distance.
Lytle is a musician who comes and goes as he pleases, as does his former band, the recently reunited Granddaddy. He admits that the sound of his solo work and Grandaddy’s is ‘slightly interchangeable’ and he remains a reassuringly familiar presence, with his easily identifiable vocal an inviting mix of soothing and sad. The songs also have a familiar ring, whether they base themselves on an old source (check Hangtown’s nod to Born Free) or simply follow the slow-build lullaby format that Lytle excels at. There’s also a few bleepy ray-gun sounds, as you’d expect. It’s fair to say there are not many surprises to be found on Dept. Of Disappearance, though the most unsurprising thing of all is how sweet it is to be back in Lytle’s comfort zone.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Willow Wand Willow Wand
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: The Sophtware Slump GRANDADDY, Deserter Songs MERCURY REV
In A Word: Grand