Further Joy

Further Joy

When Los Angeles grrrl-punks The Regrettes broke through in the mid-2010s, they were known for their ferocious riffing and unapologetic attitude. On their third album, Further Joy, they lean into the light, pairing their withering observations on modern life with exuberant choruses and gleaming guitars. It's a move that shows off how Regrettes anchor Lydia Night's songwriting has evolved since her band's DIY days; the eff-the-world attitude that animated earlier Regrettes releases is still there, but songs like the buzzy disco cut "Barely on My Mind" and the bubbly shuffle "Rosy" channel that spirit into directions that go beyond three-chord punk and into pop's groovier, hookier outer dimensions. Further Joy's brightness also makes The Regrettes' more pointed lyrics, like those of the world-weary recovery rebuke "Step 9," leap out of the songs with increased intensity—a jolting combination that reminds listeners how, sometimes, smiles might not be expressing what they seem.

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