With the most apt title of an album so far this year, Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape gets somber of his latest solo outing.
Cape and the rest of Lagwagon were touring Australia when the global pandemic started last year. The band barely made it out of the country and back home before borders locked down. Cape was quarantining in a hotel and left with a lot of time to think. He was recently separated from his wife; his father had just passed away and now his livelihood—touring as a musician—was on hold for the foreseeable future.
“I was on the phone with my mom one day, telling her how I didn’t know what I was going to do, and how I guessed I was going to live in this hotel until I ran out of money, and she just said, ‘Come home,’” Cape says. “So, I moved in with my mom and stepfather. It was just a really wild beginning to 2020 for me—I had things I had never experienced before all happening at once.”
That set up goes a long way to explain the melancholy surrounding a lot of A Good Year To Forget, felt from the opening title track and throughout. His most personal record to date, it was written and mostly recorded via a home studio setup in his parent’s house. The album serves as an aural journal of his past year and his struggles with what he was going through emotionally.
Songs like “The Poetry In Our Mistakes” and “We Might Be Wrong,” are raw and possess a vulnerability that is both beautiful and heart-wrenching, more so than almost anything he has done before. It’s almost hard to imagine that Cape, the guy behind 2019’s Railer., is the same writer behind this latest effort. The mood of this record can be difficult to get into at times but is well worth the effort as A Good Year To Forget is ultimately one of Cape’s most consistently profound records so far.