Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - Young Adult
Since officially hanging up the cape in 2014, Southend’s own Sam Duckworth hasn’t stopped for breath, whether it is recording under his own name or alternative moniker Recreations, being passionately politically active as a regular on the steps of Westminster campaigning for justice and change, or collaborating on projects with Billy Bragg, Kate Nash, and Damon Albarn’s Africa Express project (to name only a few). Duckworth now returns to put on his Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly coat with album number 6 Young Adult.
When Get Cape.. first debuted in the heady days of 2006 with The Chronicles of A Bohemian Teenager, it won over audiences with it’s passionate and heartfelt blend of folk and electronica from an Essex teen. So has donning the cape in 2018 changed anything? If anything, Young Adult is a more upbeat fizzy indie orientated effort than Duckworth’s earlier efforts musically, but still with a lyrically sly take of a “young adult” entering his 30s - somewhere between trying to recapture lost “youth” and dealing with the social and political climate of today - and drawing from the same wordplay well as fellow Essex alumni Billy Bragg. Highlights include the sombre album opener ‘Adults’, the bouncy acoustic ‘Man2Man’ with the Bragg-esque “former proud Englishman with a darker shade of Essex tan. I’m led to believe things are better”, ‘Always’ takes a more electronic turn by way of The XX, and the crunchy Britpop look at nostalgia, sloganeering and modern trends of ‘VHS Forever’ with it’s refrain “What’s a battle cry if it falls on deaf ears? What’s a battle cry without the fear?”.
Young Adult is the real definition of a grower, on first listen it is a pleasant enough album with the odd standout moment. However, it’s only on repeated listens that the layers can be seen with some deft lyrical turns working in tandem with the musical choices made. While not a perfect album, there are the odd tracks that don’t have the same immediacy as the rest of the album, it is a welcome return from the lad from Southend-on-Sea.