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Learning to be Happy

by Kayleigh Goldsworthy

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    *Please note that this item is a preorder scheduled to start shipping on June 10 2022*

    Limited to 200 copies, released by Memory Music.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Learning to be Happy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Well i’m out here and i’m searching for things that I can’t find I guess it’s stupid to tell you ‘cause you can’t read my mind to know what’s out there what’s missing this list I can’t identify it sits on the tip of my tongue Day after day I think I’m losing my mind Day after day remind myself i’m alright Day after day I wake up feeling like someone just pressed rewind but I’ll keep looking i’m always looking For an answer to the question I never got quite right Kept chasing circles, got sidelined a moth right to a light I’m such a sucker so uptight I can’t just leave it be or let it happen, I guess i’m no fun oooo Second chances And a change of perspective I hope that I do better this time Burn the past just like a letter you wrote In an old life hope I’m doing it right
2.
Better 04:08
Call me your savior ‘cause I pay the bills You wander without me, but I love you still And if there was trust left that you didn’t kill By the time you catch up with me, honey, I will. Oh I don’t know oh i don’t know oh i don’t know how to feel better Put a new dress on and head outside Try on new town, on it doesn’t fit right Got messed up in something that never was mine Couldn’t get myself caught, pray I get out of line Oh i don’t know oh i don’t know oh i don’t know how to be better It’s a weight tied to your feet It’s a spiteful agony It’s a dark horse that you bet all the time on, where do I go When there’s nothing left to save then I guess it’s just the same Walk away when it’s all on the line Tell me you love me, then push me aside You had all I could offer, you’re not satisfied
3.
I never wanted a fortress I just wanted a home To put my worries and failures And make them not alone Look for a hand reaching out thought everybody knows To keep the light on I saw it coming in waves thought it was low tide I should be running for cover ‘cause it is high time that I know better to be A better friend to me I’ll keep the light on I guess we know it never is the way we dreamed it to be thought you’d be running back to me But I was wrong And I wonder if you think of me The way you drift in my thoughts I think I loved you too much I’ll keep the light on I won’t keep beating myself up ‘cause you never called during the end of the world I guess you were better off I didn’t know I could be erased so easily Still keep the light on I guess we know it never is the way we dreamed it to be Thought you’d be running back to me But I was wrong And I wonder if you think of me You’re in my thoughts so casually I think I loved you too much I’ll keep the light on I won’t keep beating myself up ‘cause you never called during the end of the world I guess you were better off But I know better to be a better friend to me I’ll keep the light on
4.
I shouldn’t hold my breath thinking I’m not any other What did I think I had where I’d keep running into your head So selfish and senseless this broken little heart of mine Relentless can’t stop this but I guess it’s time Well it’s not like I wasn’t enough was just a little too much was just a little overambitious You didn’t want to believe what I always liked about me I’m just a little overambitious I never raised my voice I’m still learning how to use it And then there’s boys like you whose voices echo all the rooms Just ‘cause you’re talking doesn’t mean that you’ve got something to say Relentless just stop this ‘Cause I’m not in your way Well it’s not like I wasn’t enough was just a little too much was just a little overambitious You didn’t want to believe what I always liked about me I’m just a little overambitious I understood what you said you told me what you wanted Why would I think that it’s a lie and now I lost myself in the crowd found out you’re married now
5.
Can we all stay quiet for once Call our spades the same things so that we don’t give up I don’t think we’ll meet God beating Her to the punch We’re all looking for the same escape huddled tightly in rooms just to listen to ways we can get through this sad while the band we love plays Call your mother warn the cops call anyone that you forgot tell your neighbors tell the papers sing their names out Can we all just settle down No one’s trying to take what you desperately found in a document older than your little town Still we hold our breath so tight doing trivial things cause we’re scared that we might have to live with the fact that we’re not really set for goodbye Call your mother warn the cops call anyone that you forgot tell your neighbors tell the papers sing their names out Writing notes inside paper bags Say “I love the most” and take them by the hand Now they’re frightened to learn, and we can’t understand this madness Call your mother warn the cops call anyone that you forgot tell your neighbors tell the papers sing their names out For your posters and your socials and the phone calls you haven’t made tell the neighbors tell the papers ‘cause we can’t let things stay
6.
Happy Again 03:46
You got married on a Monday when I was in LA Isn’t that kind of funny How things worked out that way I guess you must have been doing great maybe I was sad I guess it must be the best day that you’ve ever had You got married on a Monday when I was in LA Well maybe it’s not that bad ‘cause I’m learning to be happy again And maybe it’s just my head that I’m living in ‘Cause you don’t know me anymore I confide that I'm not the same as I was before People change and rearrange things they thought that they knew before You don’t know me anymore Well I got in around midnight the night before the show ‘Cause California is way too much for me thought it used to feel like home I missed the smell of the ocean the sun on my skin I miss the beautiful lie I was living in Yeah I got in around midnight the night before the show Well I knew when my time had come I’d hurry and get out the door ‘Cause waiting never held my heart And somewhere on the highways lines I felt like i’d been there before Coming back to the East Coast just felt right
7.
I want to know how it feels to light up like a firework On the Fourth of July but I’ll do it Anytime I want The feeling of barefoot in the grass The feeling of never looking back I want to know how people know how to do that. ‘Cause I don’t have a clue But I’ll work it out I’ll work it out In time I’ll figure out I’ll figure it out And I never know how far I can go until I’m farther than I’ve been before Never giving up I guess that’s what I’m waiting for I wanna know how it feels to never run dry of things to say and how to play them and never fall behind The feeling of sunlight on my face The feeling of never ever being late I want to know how people know how to do that ‘Cause I don’t know what to do And if you want to tell me well I’m not listening anymore I know that it’s all on me
8.
Boomerang 03:54
Who are you to tell me that I made a fool of you You made a joke of everything I was and then you couldn’t take the truth Which was the fact that you want me to tell you that I really did you wrong Now I look back on everything I’ve tried to get you out of every song The first home that I shared when I walked down the stairs had the feeling that I got it right Then you came home at dawn put your things on the lawn and you couldn’t tell me why Just when I let you go just when I’m feeling free then you come out of nowhere back to me And it’s a cycle I can’t ever leave A boomerang it’s still going Remember when I called you up to lay it on the line I left a voicemail shaky and you called me back And thought someone had died I thought it funny that you acted like no time had ever passed at all And you were heading west real soon if it’d be cool then we should find some time When I walked through the streets with you right next to me I remembered Manhattan nights Where we kissed in the snow I wanted you to know I replay it in my mind When I let you go I like to think I’m better but I’m not Can’t stop staring at the sky and wondering when you’ll get caught Oh blame it on the stars if some else’s arms will hold you now ‘cause I’m tired of the game
9.
You're Good 03:09
So you’re saying this is all a rush and that you didn’t see it happen but it did so fast you say it’s not the time I guess it never was You’re just like an autumn breeze I catch my breath but you’re around me and then just like that it’s like you never left But I guess you never did I’m dreaming of our west side mornings Alarm clock without a warning I’m happy you’re good I’m so happy that you’re good yeah I’m happy that you’re good to her. You’re the same old silhouette except you must be keeping promises or else you’d be alone I’m not the one I guess I never was And watching from afar I’m sad that I was only practice for your big time love I knew what you could be but you’d never let me in I wonder if you think about me Remember when she said she loved me I’m happy you’re good to her And I wonder what that fall was all about and I’ve got some things to say to you out loud When I see you but I won’t And I miss you but I don’t I wish that I could have the answers from the lies
10.
Little Ghost 02:13
I shouldn’t call if you don’t want to hear me Like seeing my name on your phone screen would shut you down I shouldn’t make my presence known if you don’t want to know me now If you had wanted to hear from my side I’d have guessed you wouldn’t test me you’d just stop on by I won’t be waiting by my phone though if you don’t want to know me this time Lost in translation Message failed to send I didn’t You didn’t need me thought you might have felt the same Like all those times you said “forever” would come crashing back again But I was selfish I was helpless It was all that I could do to not become a little ghost to you

about

By early 2020, Kayleigh Goldsworthy had finally figured out who she was. The long-time hired-gun musician from Syracuse and based in south Philadelphia, who had spent a decade backing up the likes of Dave Hause, Bayside, Frank Iero, and others, was ready to commit fully to a solo career of her own work. The day after New Year's Day 2020, Goldsworthy started recording her second solo LP, seven years after her debut Burrower, with Will Yip at Studio 4 outside Philly.

Then everything changed. The job and life Goldsworthy had pursued since her teen years was ripped away: tours, shows, studio time, even band practices and writing sessions, all gone. Along with those went away a hard-won sense of self. All those things that had given Goldsworthy the confidence and push to believe in herself and her work disappeared.

“I had figured out who I was,” says Goldsworthy, “then this whole thing happened, and I had to figure out who I was again.”

These are the conditions that created Learning To Be Happy, a story of undoing and becoming that begins at what Goldsworthy thought was the end: that assuredness and strength of January 2020. This story unspools over a thrilling, winding saga of scrappy, arena-ready pop rock, charged pop punk, and acoustics-and-piano balladry. The LP’s 10 tracks are often heavy and sometimes dark, but always relentlessly confident and hopeful, threaded through with the sort of bruised optimism that rewards all those who do the difficult work of wrestling with what it means to be happy.

“Learning to be happy is a process of learning how to be yourself,” says Goldsworthy.

At the end of the day, this is immensely personal work. That’s why the cover of Learning To Be Happy is a shot of Goldsworthy, alone in the frame, her face adorned with rhinestones and glitter, backgrounded by a dark, vivid, shifting fuschia. The photo, like the record’s songs, are designed to feel like one has stepped into “a room full of light:” “It’s your little zen den,” laughs Goldsworthy. “I want you to feel happy.”

The songs’ aesthetics reflect this ethic, too: anthemic earworm melodies, carried like a triumphant banner on Goldsworthy’s crystal-clear voice, ride atop bombastic drums and guitars, recalling the best parts of mid-’90s to early-Aughts radio rock and pop. The approach is the product of a realization: “What’s the point of dedicating your life to this craft if it’s not fun?”

“Life is too hard to take yourself and your art too seriously,” says Goldsworthy. “We all need to find joy and a bit of laughter in the things that make life weird.”

The initial January 2020 sessions for Learning To Be Happy yielded three tracks, including lead single “Overambitious” alongside “Better” and “Happy Again.” Goldsworthy called in Joe Godino (The Menzingers) for drums and high school bandmate Aaron Garritillo on bass on these three, then she and Yip completed the remaining seven tracks, finishing tracking in November 2021. Goldsworthy handled vocals, guitars, synths, and keys, while Yip took on bass, drums, percussion, and backing vocals, forming what Goldsworthy describes as “the most badass, efficient two-person band ever.”

“Losing My Mind” opens the record with crunchy, wide-open, coast-roadtrip chording before Yip’s drums thunder in behind: “Day after day I think I’m losing my mind/Day after day remind myself I’m alright!” soars Goldsworthy’s chorus vocal. The somber acoustics of “Better” lead into the keys-led, defiant, boundaries-setting electro-pop of “Keep The Light On:” “I won’t keep beating myself up/‘cause you never called during the end of the world,” reckons Goldsworthy quietly.

“Overambitious” follows, the track that Goldsworthy says is the thematic cornerstone that gave her the self-confidence to build this LP. “I never raised my voice, I’m still learning how to use it/And then there’s boys like you, whose voices echo all the rooms,” sings Goldsworthy on the verse over guitar crunch. The chorus floors the pedal with a firework melody: “You didn’t want to believe what I always liked about me/I’m just a little overambitious!”

The quiet, finger-picked reflection of “Call Your Mother” follows with a plea for low-key internal work rather than loud declarations of intent. It unfurls behind Goldsworthy’s soft opening gambit: “Can we all stay quiet once?” Later, the mid-tempo churn of “Boomerang” soundtracks the painful process of letting someone back into your life, time and again, expecting them to have changed and the outcome to be different, only to be wounded anew. “You’re Good” comes next, a bittersweet, cheeky pop rock assessment of someone who becomes better only after they leave your life and find someone new. “I’m so happy that you’re good/Yeah I’m happy that you’re good, to her.”

“Little Ghost” closes the LP just with grand piano and Goldsworthy’s voice, a final post-mortem on the record’s adventures. Ghosts are all we have left of the people we leave and are left by; they haunt us at familiar restaurants, subway stations, venues, corners of our bedrooms. To someone else, we are those ghosts.

As both a record and a philosophical concept, Learning To Be Happy is, as Goldsworthy puts it, a never-ending waxing and waning: it is tumultuous and messy, not clean and final. The process is the point, and the next step is to share these songs live. At her shows, Goldsworthy wants everybody to be friends, for the experience to be casual and awkward and funny, just like the trials and errors of learning to be happy. She’s not any different than the people listening to her songs, trying to figure out how to feel better.

“I’m just your realistic friend that has a lot of feelings,” she says.

credits

released May 6, 2022

All songs written by Kayleigh Goldsworthy
Kayleigh Goldsworthy: vocals, guitars, synths, keys
Will Yip: bass, drums, percussion, additional backing vocals
Aaron Garritillo: bass on Overambitious, Better, and Happy Again
Joe Godino: drums, percussion on Overambitious, Better, and Happy Again
Produced, engineered, mixed, mastered, and additional composition by Will Yip
Engineering by Justin Bartlett

Cover photography by Tom May with additional assistance by Paul Williams
Album Layout by Carlos Pacheco-Perez


Thank you Will Yip, Tim Zahodski, Joe Godino, Aaron Garritillo, Nick Storch, my family and friends, and all of the little ghosts in my life.

There are so many people who have helped, supported, inspired, and assisted in my life and career which lead to the creation of this record, but I would additionally like to express my gratitude to everyone on my Patreon, The Golds Mine Discord, and Twitch. I am humbled and so fortunate to belong to such a supportive and wonderful community, without which none of this would be possible.

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Kayleigh Goldsworthy Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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