Brudenell Presents...

Current Joys - sold out

+ Niall Summerton

Current Joys - Voyager 

To listen to a Current Joys song is to be immersed fully in Nick Rattigans world. An avid con sumer of cinema, a visual artist as much as he is a musician, Rattigans music is tactile, its im agery and sonics conceived simultaneously. Its 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 thats thrummed through all of Rattigans previous releases: a quavering, scream-itself-hoarse vocals and self-in terrogation via song. But here, that bristling, sentimental rock nroll cacophony is overlaid with a soundtrack orchestra guiding it along. Its an odyssey, a grand-sounding journey of self-discovery spread across sixteen tracks. Part ekphrasis, part personal, its Rattigan learning new ways to un derstand 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: Id just been very stubborn in wanting to do it all my own way, but I guess Ive 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 Joysoutput 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 as sistant in the film/TV industry. Hed play Current Joys shows to dismal audiences around New York, and found himself increasingly drawn to Los Angelesscene instead. He relocated to LA in 2016, and the songs that make up Voyager began coming together shortly after. 

Each piece of Current Joysprevious 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 Joysprofile quickly and quietly ascended, selling out venues like LAs El Rey along with European tours, si multaneously amassing millions of streams of the catalog, and a dedicated following.   

But while the audiences and songwriting/recording approaches changed and continue to evolve  for Current Joys, the inspiration Rattigan draws from cinema remains a guiding force. 

Something that naturally sort of happened was watching movies and being inspired by them so writing a song about the content of that movie,” Rattigan explains. But it started to influence me more spiritually when I went to this double feature of Tarkovsky. They were showing The Mirror  and Nostalgia at the New Beverly, and just watching those movies made me realize how there

different ways to communicate music, or communicate art. Obviously with Tarkovsky its in a very surreal but spiritual and intense form, and I tried sort of mimicking that feeling into music instead  of visuals. I started reading directorsautobiographies -- Ive always taken way more from what directors do vs. what other musicians do.”  

Frequently he uses film as a jumping off point for songwriting. Big Star” was written on tour after watching Adventureland, hoping to capture that specific endless youth energy of the sound tracks Replacements and Big Star songs. Amateur” is piano-heavy, a slow-build of tension, flit ting with prettiness, while the creeping Rebecca,” named after the Hitchcock film before Rattigan had actually seen it, radiates a haunted, sinister presence; Naked” feels almost unhinged, while American Honey” is a longing, mellowed lament. The title track, Voyager pt. 2,” holds a sparse,

near-funereal starkness, as well as the albums thesis: Im a voyager in my mind, before the Spiel berg-esque strings swell. 

Somehow, the amalgamation of tone fits. Rattigan, who stays up all night to perfect the sequen cing of his records once theyre recorded, doesnt set out with a typical aesthetic in mind – in stead, it just happens. Performing is his catharsis. Which feels palpable on Voyager; theres frag ments of hours spent watching movies, as well as stories from his own life; theres overly-caffein ated car rides blasting the PixiesSurfer Rosa; theres inspiration taken from the crooning pres ence of frontmen like Jeff Buckley, Chris Isaak, and Nick Cave, as evidenced on Rattigans cover 

of the Boys Next Doors Shivers.” And theres the simple, ecstatic energy of getting a bunch of friends in the studio. 

It’s all held together by the fervor of Rattigan’s creative process. He believes in the premonitory power of music, and he latches onto the song ideas that strike him in the moment, propelled by  an abstract existentialism or burst of feeling more than anything else. It imbues Voyager with an  intensity and intimacy – with the sense that you’re getting to hear, all at once, the disparate parts that make a project – or person – into a sprawling, cinematic whole.

Monday 20th June 2022

Price: £9 adv

Doors 19:30

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