“A Different Age” by Current Joys – Review
Review by Dustin Butoryak
A Different Age is the third major release from prodigy surf-boy Nick Rattigan’s solo endeavor Current Joys. Expansive and gripping, A Different Age never fails to rip my heart right out of my chest during each listen. Rattigan’s music is quiet and deeply personal, as if reading an apology letter from your best friend or love letters from an ex-lover. Despite its brooding tone, A Different Age evokes urgent, passionate emotion with its sweeping composition and beautifully succinct prose.
“Become the Warm Jets”, the album’s opening track and leading single, weaves together droning guitar melodies with sparse flourishes of Rattigan’s brilliant drumming. His lyrics are stunningly simple, laden with nostalgic depth. He sings, “Oh I can hear it when that old song starts to play/Cutting through my body in familiar waves/Well is it me or is it you who can’t relate?/’Cause I can feel it/When those warm jets take me away”. Whether I’m rushing between classes during a 12-hour work day or laying down to go to sleep, this track seems to fit the mood perfectly.
“Way Out Here” is one of my personal favorite tracks from A Different Age, thick with regretful nostalgia. He sings, “’Cause the way my hand keeps changing/And I just need a little time/’Cause the sentiment of feelings/Leads to ordinary lives and I want mine”. Light, ethereal and consistent, guitar melodies hold this song together and contribute greatly to the dreamy tone.
Rattigan released a series of short films in the weeks leading up to its digital release. These videos made up the visual album version of A Different Age on YouTube, an added element that enhances the meaning of the album greatly. If you’re curious to check out the album, I would strongly encourage you to watch the first several videos on YouTube- check out “Become the Warm Jets” below.
A Different Age is just flat out beautiful. It is sweeping and deeply meaningful, and is a refreshing departure from Rattigan’s other major project Surf Curse (which is also incredibly well done). It has great potential for live performance as well; though somewhat muted in its recording, the emotional depths Rattigan dives into on this album hold the potential for extremely dynamic live performance. If you see Current Joys swinging through your town, you’d be wise to check ‘em out.
You can catch Dustin on Sundays from 6 to 8 PM as the host of “Smooth Bops” on WPTS Radio! This review was edited by Margie DeSantis of the WPTS Editorial Board.