Cleanse is Joywave’s fourth studio album and is the follow-up to 2020’s Possession which released on March 13th 2020 as the world shut down. With a virus ravaging the world and no possibility of touring for the foreseeable future, Joywave frontman Daniel Armbruster was once again able to dig into his own psyche and see what surfaced. The 10 tracks that make up Cleanse were conceived, written and recorded in Armbruster’s home studio when “reminders of our fragile mortality were everywhere, punctuated by the ongoing pandemic and civil unrest,” he notes. “Cleanse became the words, encouragement, and occasional cautions that I would want to share with you if this was the last time we spoke,” Armbruster reflects. Highlights on the album include the catchy and clever “Buy American, “ the introspective “After Coffee” which celebrates the pleasures of the mundane, the ambient groove of “Pray For The Reboot,” the brooding and expansive “The Inversion” and “Every Window Is A Mirror” which according to Armbruster recalls “our inability to understand the experiences of others.”
“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 March 13th 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.