As a special holiday treat, Icelandic songwriter Ryan Karazija, a.k.a. Low Roar, wrapped up an old Grandaddy favorite in his own eerie dressing. "I'm On Standby", from 2003's Sumday, stood as a perfect instance of Jason Lytle's unmistakable pop-smoothed melancholy. Clean downstrokes, mechanical chirps, and charmingly metaphorical lyrics made the song a solid fixture of the Grandaddy catalog. Sapping out the crunch and buzz of the original, this Low Roar rendition opts for a minimal arrangement of gently swaying synth tinsel and Karazija's trademark wrenching harmonies. The result is a fantastically seasonal tune, if your idea of Christmas cheer is curling up in a cold corner with all of your feelings at once. But hey, even in this sadder cover of a sad song, I see a few glimmers through the gloom--and isn't that the whole point of the solstice?
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