With all coming-of-age tales, there are doubts, qualms, and insecurities and Rattigan highlights these situations with honesty, truth, and candour. The music crafted here is patient, unravelling slowly before it nestles into your soul
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Inside the waiting room of one’s own mind, a lot can transpire. For Los Angeles artist, Nick Rattigan aka Current Joys, he’s taken those thoughts, reflections, anxieties, and fears and placed them into his new record called A Different Age.
For those unfamiliar with the Nevada born musician, he’s a member of the indie-rock duo Surf Curse as well as a music video director, most notably making his debut with Girlpool’s “123”. When he’s not drumming and singing with Surf Curse, Rattigan is focusing on his other band, Current Joys. He’s released four albums under this moniker, the last one being 2016’s Me Oh My Mirror. Now the prolific singer/songwriter is set to release A Different Age, described as a visual album with each track being accompanied by an imaginative video. With such innovation to be on display here, Rattigan takes a progressive leap forward with his artistry, as the lyrics and sound composition are starkly different than previous efforts. In addition, he shows his artistic abilities behind the camera as well.
ADifferent Age articulates Rattigan’s passion to create art intuitively in a period burdened by apathy and uneasiness. The nine tracks find its time in a lo-fi, ethereal sound scape. Through the notions of love, art, and camaraderie, Rattigan is able to aid his deep uncertainties in growing up and growing older. With all coming-of-age tales, there are doubts, qualms, and insecurities and Rattigan highlights these situations with honesty, truth, and candour. The music crafted here is patient, unravelling slowly before it nestles into your soul. Opening track “Become the Warm Jets” is a delicate ballad, putting its listeners into deep contemplation mode within their own surroundings.
“Fear” is driven by serene synths and a pulsating drum beat. It’s a song dealing with isolation, the fears of tomorrow, and the pressures of daily moments. “Alabama” is another powerful entry that could guide one through any storm that comes one’s way. It’s chilling yet simplistic in arrangements. It starts off with the line, “I ran away from myself, but I don’t like to think about it,” one that can strike a chord with the generation the 25-year-old songwriter speaks to. With Rattigan’s hypnotic guitar strumming, the gentle synths that float in the background, and his aching vocals, you become lost and found all within the song’s four and half-minute duration. The album’s title track is nearly seven minutes in length, but both lyrically and musically, it offers the most complexity, depth, and focus of all the tracks here.
Current Joys may serve as a minimalistic band yet the emotions conveyed are in no way marginal. A Different Age feels quite experimental within its 46 minutes journey. It’s the kind of album that begs for repeated listens, as you may miss a thing or two on your travels with it. The idea of growing older shown as being difficult is obviously not a new revelation by any means, but Rattigan takes his most personal experiences in this period of his life to share it with the world. The tumultuous rollercoaster of breaking into adulthood is not an easy transition for most. In the case of Current Joys, he paints his own canvas in such a raw, poetic, and emotionally stirring kind of way that those who listen attentively can be relieved that they’re not the only ones dealing with life’s constant ambiguities.