Joyful influences of the bygone 2000s pop-punk era
The Regrettes have looked to the past as an influence for their third studio album, Further Joy. With a shining sound, they delve deeply into pop-punk aesthetics, a sound that is almost a cultural phenomenon now from the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, WILLOW, Avril Lavigne and many more. There is a certain nostalgia and angst from pop-punk that is enjoyable for all listeners. This feeling of nostalgia helps calm the anxieties in the world, creating a perfect timing for The Regrettes in this revival movement.
From the first beat of the titular song, Further Joy clearly takes influence from other modern-day music. Although Further Joy’s influences are evident, the element of despair utilized by many of its pioneers are overlooked. The Regrettes instead look to use their sound as a form of healing from past anxieties and trauma. The Regrettes put their own spin on pop punk with their optimistic feelings of healing.
“That’s What Makes Me Love You” has a contagious, energetic feeling that consumes the listener. The chorus utilizes more contemporary sounds while also having the distinct 2000s sound heard in other tracks. “That’s What Makes Me Love You” shows the group’s versatility without going away from what makes Further Joy special. In a genre known for angst, this track sets itself apart for its beautifully fun charm.
Although Further Joy prides itself on its charming feelings, “Subtleties (Never Giving Up On You)” takes a dark turn. Lead vocalist Lydia Night sings about her struggles with body dysmorphia and an eating disorder. Night’s voice creates a powerful image of overcoming mental illness and not falling into despair. The production is exceptional as well, for its choice of birdsong creating a picture of finding peace.
“Homesick” is another exceptional track on Further Joy. The lyrics may seem simple but effectively convey the image of wanting to be seen. The producers used a stripped-back feeling on “Homesick” over the shining production on earlier tracks. This stripped-back feeling creates a sense of self-reflection that is refreshing from the album’s theme of anxiety. “Homesick” is a slower pop song but still effectively conveys Nights’ mindset that constantly replays memories of her lover.
“You’re So F***ing Pretty” is a saccharine love song reminiscent of the highs and lows of childhood love. The imagery is transportive, evoking memories of Spin the Bottle. This track morphs its familiarity into something new. The voyeuristic quality creates one of the strongest vocalistic performances on Further Joy. The production is stellar for its ability to fit seamlessly with the vocals.
Further Joy ends on a high note. In the wake of anxieties from previous tracks, there is a feeling of joy that comes at the end. Night can convey that this joyful feeling comes not from being alone but from relationships with other people. “Show Me You Want Me” is a heartfelt song that is not only uplifting but evokes feelings of vulnerability from intimate relationships. This vulnerability is a testament to the power of healthy relationships that contrasts with messages in previous tracks. This renewed sense of healing has helped Night understand that she can overcome anxiety, now knowing she is worth loving.
Further Joy is an album fully committed to its aesthetics. The album goes through its feelings of pain and happiness without allowing itself to fall into the pit of despair. The Regrettes have crafted a beautiful album that is not afraid to ask, “What is it to be truly happy?”