Album: Current Joys – Voyager review

by Harry Hodgson

As Current Joys, American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Nick Rattigan, brings together honesty, intimacy, and openness on his latest long player

Rattigan’s attempt to bring the listener into his world of emotion, fear and truth – through relatable and sincere lyricism – clicks with his delicate and cinematic musical backdrops that run Voyager. Opening track, Dancer In The Dark, revels in its melancholic beauty. Tonally, it sets the record up through its sparse, warming instrumentation – building into a spellbinding swell of strings before snapping the listener back from its fantasia. The opening lyrics, ‘you used to say you’d run away, but now you’re chasing fire,’ shows Rattigan’s exceptional knack for creating not only engaging, enigmatic lyricism, but also his nuance as a storyteller.

As the record progresses, we see the the Nevada native take a swerve into a punkier lane through the manic Naked, as he encapsulates the feeling of panic and emptiness through the repeated hysteria – ‘don’t let go of me / don’t let me go!’ The terror-inducing guitar strikes and fast paced, pounding snare drum patterns make an uncomfortable listen as the song’s atmospheric backing evokes Rattigan’s brutal truths.

Album highlight – the heartbreaking, Rebecca – is a song that oozes sorrow – as the slow groove, frail vocal presence and swelling strings add a layer of grandiosity. Before Shivers, which opens with ‘I’ve been contemplating suicide, but it really doesn’t suit my style’ is, again, darkly vulnerable and harnesses a great, somehow beautiful, potency.

Seven records in, Voyager is not only a fantastic edition to the Current Joys’ discography, but is Nick Rattigan’s best collection yet – and it is one that pounds with emotional heart. 

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