Get Cape Wear Cape Fly has been on a four year long hiatus, in which time Sam Duckworth has cemented himself as an invaluable activist for positive change through numerous projects such as Oxfam’s Blue Project and a run in with the now defunct BNP. Young Adult was a chance for Duckworth to get back to his Southend roots, and explore what it means to be a ‘grown up’ in today’s society.
Opener Adults is a morose self examination of whether or not we should fully believe the things we read, and how such choices affect our lives and futures. At face value, Duckworth has a natural capability for songwriting that runs much deeper than the typical run of the mill format. Strings add a maturity that would now be best described as ‘woke’ – aware of multiple viewpoints that all converge in one series of decision making.
DNA is ideal mid afternoon festival or lazy Sunday fair, that occupy a delightful space where you can be both zoned into and zoned out of at once. The pressures of life and systems of oppression are called into question here, realising that what applies to one person does not necessarily apply to another. It’s not as aggressively politically charged as previous releases, entry level activism if you will. But this definitely is still able to rouse even the most apathetic of people.
It starts to get a bit more lively on VHS Forever, which contains all of the fuzz and edge that made the late 90s and early 2000s so great. It’s got surface noise, as John Peele would no doubt say. Duckworth is able to pull it back before veering too far into territory occupied by the likes of Ratboy. This burst of energy is far from short lived, as Just A Phase recalls the likes of Maximo Park and The Cribs signature vocal stylings. I doubt you’ll ever hear the word Nostradamus rhymed with the word pyjamas ever again, but as an exercise in returning to childhood – it works.
Sam Duckworth takes a firm stance on not regretting former decisions on What Haves, another introspective examination of how adulthood has developed the self and those that surround it. The thought of becoming an adult is a daunting fear that never truly goes away, ‘real’ adults are a myth created by car salespeople and Kirsty Allsopp, it’s way more fun being that bit of a childish mess!
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly will no doubt be welcomed back to the limelight by legions of fans, as Sam Duckworth continues to soundtrack a collective consciousness that refuses to be silent. Even through questioning the idea of what makes a grown up, there is politics, love and self doubt playing key roles here – something we are all able to relate to on multiple levels.