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Jason Lytle talks about his first disc since his split from indie rock outfit Grandaddy.


AMONG THE ROCK-BAND BREAKUPS OF THE PAST FEW YEARS
, the demise of Grandaddy remains one of the more deeply felt. Led by singer-songwriter Jason Lytle, the group launched in the decidedly unglamorous rock-and-roll environs of California’s Central Valley in 1992. After the release of its much-praised experimental pop albums, including 2000’s The Sophtware Slump and 2003’s Sumday, the band was hailed as the American Radiohead.

But prior to the release of 2006’s Just Like the Fambly Cat, Lytle brought the curtain down on the group, citing personal reasons and interband strains. Soon after that, he left his lifelong home of Modesto, California, to seek solace in Montana, where he’s since been working in the relative isolation of his home studio. Now Lytle has reemerged with his first solo album, Yours Truly, the Commuter (Anti-, $17), which he recently showcased at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

As were his past efforts with Grandaddy, Yours Truly is an atmospheric album built around an impressive array of swooning soundscapes. On the eve of the album’s release, Lytle ruminates on the demise of Grandaddy, his decision to escape to Big Sky Country, and how his childhood discovery of the Cars helped shape his music.