There’s a particularly poignant line on ‘Scrapbook’, one of the tracks from Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly brainchild Sam Duckworth’s new album, ‘Young Adult’: “Do you know who you are, or do you miss who you were?”
After laying to rest his founding alias back in 2014, Sam released a couple of records under both his birth name, and Recreations, seemingly pleased to be rid of his old moniker. Yet here we are in 2018, and Get Cape’s back.
So, what’s going on?
“I changed my mind, basically,” Sam admits through an air of relief. Reneging on the declaration he made just a few years ago wasn’t an easy choice, but it made more and more sense – especially following the fun had around the tenth anniversary of his debut album, ‘The Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager’, in 2016.
The real catalyst for his return, however, stems from a viewing of LCD Soundsystem’s farewell show documentary, Shut Up And Play The Hits – and James Murphy and Co.’s subsequent return. “I remember being like, yeah. If they can do it, I can do it!”
Having split himself across three different but very similar identities over nine albums – almost a record a year since he first began – Sam found it tough to maintain momentum. “I think the process that I’ve worked out, in probably the most clunky fashion, is that they all don’t sound that different,” he reflects.
“If I’m going to experiment, then I need to keep Get Cape what it is really.” And what is that to Sam? “It’s now five albums quite solidly in one style, and the Recreations album wasn’t too far away either. That’s my main style of songwriting, and it’s pushing the boundaries within that rather than trying to reinvent all the time.
“There was a clear separation in my head, but that clear separation didn’t translate. As soon as I was aware of that, it was just like, abandon ship. It doesn’t work. People can get behind the idea that if I’m on my own, I’m Sam Duckworth, that’s simple, and if I’ve got a band project, it’s Get Cape. I think two is good. I don’t need to over complicate it,” he laughs.
Which brings us neatly on to ‘Young Adult’, Get Cape’s sixth outing. “That’s what this record is. It’s a completely new process. It’s a new studio – I’m in Essex, I’ve got a brand new studio down here. It’s just a different perspective. A different live band, different drums and bass on the record, so it feels fresh. It feels like a different chapter and a new journey.”
Returning to Get Cape offered Sam a clarity that was missing when he first started work on his latest opus. “I wrote this complicated, forty-five-minute long science fiction concept album,” he jokingly admits. “Which I’m glad we’re not talking about now because everyone would be super confused!”
Putting his fantastical storytelling aside, “I just started playing. Within a week I was like, ‘This is a Get Cape record, and I’ve got to do it now’. I didn’t leave the studio for about three weeks, apart from to have a shower.”
Readily admitting that when he’s not writing, he gets a little spun out, Sam uses music to decant his worries, woes and thoughts on the world. “When your coping strategy becomes your job, you end up with a bit of a conflict of interest,” he ponders.
“You’ve got to make sure you’re writing to keep sharp and also writing just to keep that process going. I think the last few records I’ve made have been very… I don’t know. Various things have been tied up in knots, and it’s trying to undo a few of those this time.”
Over a decade since he first started out, and ‘Young Adult’ puts a spotlight on the world as Sam sees it today. Rife with captivating melodies and lyrics that waste no syllables, “it’s nice to be at that point where it’s like, okay cool, this is my adult phase now.”
“I’m older; I can’t tour as much. When you’re younger, you can run around and play loads of shows and hope people pay attention, but when you’re older, you’ve got to find a different balance. I think I’ve lived a couple of lives since then. I’m an adult now. I’ve got different priorities, different perspectives.”
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly’s album ‘Young Adult’ is out now. Taken from the February 2018 issue of Upset. Order a copy now bellow.