On October 13, 2015, Jay Joslyn set out to write a song. The goal was to complete it within a week’s time. Once he did that, he set out to do it 51 more times. Since Ugly Brothers—the band Joslyn drums in—had slowed down to mix its debut full-length, and his pet project MIGO was on indefinite hiatus, he had some time on his hands. Joslyn used the time to write and record a song every week for a year under the name Lifetime Achievement Award. October 13, 2016 marked the conclusion of the purposeful project’s song-a-week push. Last Friday, Lifetime Achievement Award released those songs in the form of the 52-track Today Hard, Tomorrow Hard.
Joslyn tells Milwaukee Record he was inspired to attempt the 52-week undertaking from a similar task Chicago’s Into It. Over It. tried during parts of 2007 and 2008. Within the hours of material, Lifetime Achievement Award manages some magic within a seven-day deadline with songs like “NBA” and “Editorial On How To Smile Through It,” among others. Still, with dozens of songs recorded at such a rapid pace, Joslyn is also quick to acknowledge some songs, such as “Trout Sit” and “When You’re Sad, You’re Hungry,” probably wouldn’t cut it as part of a traditional album.
“The whole point of doing this project was to get better acquainted with my songwriting self and my recording equipment,” Josyln says. “I’ve gotten my songwriting process down pretty well, but I’m always learning how to do things more efficiently. I feel like I’m way better than where I was last year.”
Joslyn says he plans to continue playing out as Lifetime Achievement Award, with Alex Shah and Grant Postier—who pitched in partway through the project—filling out the band. Eventually, about 12 of the more promising songs might be fleshed out and re-recorded for a formal release. And Joslyn is open to writing more material for the band, though at a much slower pace. For now, you can get a glimpse into one man’s growth as a songwriter over the last year by listening to Today Hard, Tomorrow Hard below.