Voyager (Opaque Purple)

Voyager (Opaque Purple)

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Voyager, the seventh LP from Current Joys, rattles with the live-wire feeling that's thrummed through all of Nick Rattigan's previous releases: quavering, scream-itself-hoarse vocals and self-interrogation 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."

Frequently Rattigan 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 soundtrack's Replacements and Big Star songs. "Amateur" is piano-heavy, a slow-build of tension, flitting 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 album's thesis: I'm a voyager in my mind, before the Spielberg-esque strings swell.

  1. Dancer in the Dark
  2. American Honey
  3. Naked
  4. Altered States
  5. Breaking the Waves
  6. Big Star
  7. Amateur
  8. Rebecca
  9. Shivers
  10. Something Real
  11. Money Making Machine
  12. Voyager Pt 1
  13. Calypso
  14. The Spirit or the Curse
  15. Vagabond
  16. Voyager Pt 2

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