LOVE + POP
Nick Rattigan has released his latest full-length under his Current Joys moniker, LOVE + POP. The dream-poppy, heart-on-sleeve indie rocker doesn’t entirely abandon his reverb-soaked guitar on the half-hourlong LP, but it takes a backseat to his embrace of, well, the internet.
Over just 12 mostly brief songs, the record opens with an interpretation of the Lil Peep song “walk away as the door slams,” a Lil Yachty verse on “Gatsby,” which for the most part sounds like a Current Joys tune of yesterday, and a song called “bb put on deftones,” which begs to transcend the TikTok algorithm with its opening line: “I don’t want to fuck/ I just want to vibe/ Baby put on Deftones/ Look me in the eyes.” As much as it feels like pandering to the chronically online, it’s hard to resist the groove. The comment sections are sure to love the sucking toes line, too.
A couple songs after Yachty references Current Joys in a Current Joys song, Rattigan nods back in “Rock n Roll Dreams:” “No one knows that I know Lil Yachty.”
LOVE + POP isn’t devoid of its highlights, though. Album closer “U R THE REASON” is a tense eight-minute build spread over a skeletal dance track and might be the record’s strongest song and most successful experimentation.
Screaming and electronic breakbeats provide plenty of abrasion in the hyperpop-esque “Dr Satan,” but the charming piano and less extreme electronic bits reel it back in for a strong finish.
“3lefant” is perhaps the best iteration of Rattigan’s everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. One wouldn’t necessarily think that a song that ends with dubstep crashes, acoustic guitar and chaotic synth lines would work, but it does, and very well. This song precedes the aforementioned “U R THE REASON,” making for an incredible finish to a record I almost wish was longer just so I could see where else Rattigan is willing to take it.
LOVE + POP is not the record for anyone searching for a full record of melancholic guitar and distant vocals. Those things haven’t been abandoned completely, but it’s clear that Rattigan made the record he wanted to make, and in doing so made a record that is comfortably itself.
Order LOVE + POP HERE
Looking for something new to listen to?
Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.