This is the first time since Joywave has been a known entity that I can remember no one explicitly asking me to make a record. Our third LP, Possession, came out on March 13, 2020, and the world stopped just a few days later. Our whole album cycle was dead on arrival. We had spent close to 18 months making and setting up that record. It was crushing to watch everything we had worked so hard to roll out in just the right way obliterated in an instant.
But creatively, the timing couldn’t have been better. Something more positive began to emerge. With our dense touring schedule shelved, I was able to reflect on past travels and appreciate them in a new way. But reminders of our fragile mortality were everywhere, punctuated by the ongoing pandemic and civil unrest. The music began to encompass all of this. It became the words, encouragement, and occasional cautions that I would want to share with you if this was the last time we spoke. And with all this time spent looking inward came the realization that there were still a few chips I was carrying on my shoulder that I needed to let go of. Maybe you have those too.
One of my first jobs ever was at a car wash. I thought of the band, after years spent on the road taking a breather. Going through that wash process. Watching all the dirt and mud stripped away. Coming out the other side refreshed and rejuvenated. Still having experienced everything from before, but no longer wearing the scars.
Welcome to Cleanse (2022).