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w/ Dark Tea
To listen to a Current Joys song is to be immersed fully in Nick Rattigan’s world. An avid consumer of cinema, a visual artist as much as he is a musician, Rattigan’s music is tactile, its imagery and sonics conceived simultaneously. It’s unclear where the films Rattigan is inspired by stop and his personal life starts, but the blending is what makes Voyager so remarkable.
Voyager, the seventh LP from Current Joys, rattles with the live-wire feeling that’s thrummed through all of Rattigan’s previous releases: a quavering, scream-itself-hoarse vocals and self-in-terrogation via song. But here, that bristling, sentimental rock‘n’roll cacophony is overlaid with a soundtrack orchestra guiding it along. It’s an odyssey, a grand-sounding journey of self-discovery spread across sixteen tracks. Part ekphrasis, part personal, it’s Rattigan learning new ways to understand his own feelings and identity while inspired by the highly-stylized, striking storytelling of filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Lars Von Trier, Terrence Malick, Agnès Varda, and Andrei Tarkovsky. Voyager is unlike anything Current Joys has released before.
On his new LP, Rattigan eschews lo-fi home recordings for a full band and recording sessions at Stinson Beach Studios. As a vocalist/drummer in his other band Surf Curse, Rattigan had finally opened up to the possibility of working in a professional studio: “I’d just been very stubborn in wanting to do it all my own way, but I guess I’ve kind of opened up the creative process to more people at this point,” Rattigan explains. “ And I think it yields better results.”
Since 2013 Current Joys’ output has been prolific. A Nevada native, Rattigan began Current Joys in Reno, before moving to New York after school and busting his ass working as a production assistant in the film/TV industry. He’d play Current Joys shows to dismal audiences around New York, and found himself increasingly drawn to Los Angeles’ scene instead. He relocated to LA in 2016, and the songs that make up Voyager began coming together shortly after.
Each piece of Current Joys’ previous discography is wholly built and envisioned by Rattigan, self-recorded and quickly released, quivering with a lonely intensity. Within six months of beginning the project, Current Joys had already released its debut, Wild Heart; by 2018, the sixth Current Joys full length and visual album, A Different Age, was out. All the while, Current Joys’ profile quickly and quietly ascended, selling out venues like LA’s El Rey along with European tours, simultaneously amassing millions of streams of the catalog, and a dedicated following.