Current Joys – the project of Nick Rattigan – unveils new single/video “American Honey” from its forthcoming album, Voyager, out May 14th on Secretly Canadian. 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. This is visualized in the “American Honey” video, which was self-directed by Rattigan who cut his teeth in New York as a production assistant in the film/TV industry before moving to Los Angeles.
Voyager rattles with the live-wire feeling that’s thrummed through all of 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. On Voyager, Rattigan eschews lo-fi home recordings for a full band and recording sessions at Stinson Beach Studios. 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. Frequently he uses film as a jumping off point for songwriting.
Rattigan 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.