Fat Wreck Chords and singer-songwriter Joey Cape, frontman of the iconic punk band Lagwagon, are pleased to announce the Friday, August 13 release of his brand new solo LP, A Good Year To Forget (pre-order). A reflective album that was written during a year that saw him lose his father, separate from his wife of 20 years, contract COVID, and move back in with his parents as a result of a livelihood lost, A Good Year To Forget is a warm and beautiful record that encapsulates all the trials and tribulations over those challenging 12 months.
Leading the collection is "It Could Be Real," a song written from the perspective of a disenchanted single person—a person who has experienced the highs and lows of multiple failed relationships. They have, more than once, considered the possibility that they are not fit to partner with another and have landed on complacency. Eventually they come to believe they are actually capable of lasting connections and realize their potential to be fit enough for someone else—it's a suspicious invitation but is intended to be light and tongue-in-cheek.
The time Joey Cape spent with his parents over the past year didn’t just allow him to reconnect with them; it also afforded him time to write songs. Because recording studios were shutting down everywhere due to COVID, Cape got creative and turned the “cabana-type thing” he was living in into a home recording studio. “I just decided that if I was going to make a record like this, I should make it in full isolation,” he says. “I have a Murphy bed, so every morning I’d push up the bed, pull out the studio stuff, have some coffee or tea, get out my little chair and off I went.” Despite Cape’s isolation while writing A Good Year To Forget, his fans will hear much more than just a voice, guitar and bass on this record. Indeed, he ended up playing a plethora of instruments when recording the album, including electric and lap steel guitars, piano, mandolin and drums.
“I almost made a solo record alone,” he laughs. “But that great fun you have in collaborating with other people in the studio is just priceless. There’s always something positive you can find–something of redeeming value in an experience where there’s a struggle of suffering. I played everything because I reached a point where I realized that’s something I’d have to hold onto if it was going to be the record I wanted and set out to make. It forced things to be very basic, but I’m okay with that.”
A Good Year To Forget seeks to find the positive in the negatives to become a record of pure triumphant beauty. Hushed and haunted, there’s an almost Nick Drake-ian poignancy to these 12 songs, especially on the wistful “The Poetry Of Our Mistakes” and the forlorn-yet-somehow-uplifting “Saturday Night Fever.” “Come Home,” a song inspired directly by the words his mother had spoken on the phone, is a beautifully melancholic, slightly folky tune full of hurt and longing that also manages to be reassuring at the same time. Elsewhere, “Under The Doormat” is a harrowingly beautiful ode to a lost love of the past. “Check Your Ego At The Door” is a ballroom lament steeped in timelessness, while “Fictional” is a scornful take on the false images and lives that proliferate on social media.
“By any standard, 2020 was a bad year,” Cape says. “This record has truly distilled my own experience of the past year, what I've learned and what I've felt. It feels right and I'm very proud of the result.”
A Good Year To Forget tracklist:
- A Good Year To Forget
- Nickel and Lead
- The Poetry In Our Mistakes
- It Could Be Real
- Check Your Ego At The Door
- We Might Be Wrong
- Saturday Night Fever
- Under the Doormat
- Infertile Ground
- Heavy Lies the Head
- Come Home