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 realised 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.”
Fat Wreck Chords will release A Good Year To Forget on August 13, 2021.
JOEY CAPE – A GOOD YEAR TO FORGET OUT FRIDAY AUGUST 13
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
Heavy Lies the Head