In our Track by Track feature, artists open up about the stories and messages behind each song on their latest release. Today, The Regrettes bring us some Further Joy.
Out today via Warner, Further Joy finds the band channeling the tumultuous times we’ve all experienced these last few years as well as their personal flaws into their “poppiest and danciest” album ever. In fact, the album’s very title encapsulates the experience of locking yourself into a cycle of constantly trying to better yourself while facing the daunting realities of the world — and imitation realities of social media.
“That phrase, ‘further joy,’ summarized what it meant to be on the hamster wheel of constantly chasing happiness, but in turn, that’s what makes you unhappy,” lead singer and songwriter Lydia Night said in a press statement.. “I was stuck in a loop of wanting to be better, wanting to be good, and therefore I couldn’t be here. I couldn’t be present.”
With Further Joy, Night, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Brooke Dickson, and drummer Drew Thomsen aim to break that cycle by confronting it honestly — and then dancing on its grave. Take a listen to the album below, followed by the band’s in depth Track by Track breakdown of the whole thing.
“Anxieties (Out of Time)”:
This was one I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic, and it encapsulates that impending doom, when it felt like everything in front of me was terrifying, it’s all coming at me, that’s all I could focus on. This was before I was even diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I think a lot of people experienced similar feelings at the beginning of the world shutting down, nothing was off the table at that point in terms of what could happen in the world. The chorus is a reflection of that, we wanted it to sound like an anxious, panic attack pace like you’re running out of time and it feels like that to me. — Lydia Night
Once you accept what’s going on with your mental health, sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, at least it did for me. Once I accepted I had anxiety and depression that was extremely scary because then it became real. I was off the rails, losing my mind, I felt so lonely and so lost and so isolated. I had just started to understand my own feelings and get validation for them. “Monday” comes from validation of those feelings, but again, there’s that counter, there’s that hopeful voice in there being like “You’re still alive. It’s fine. It’s OK. — L.N.
“Monday” talks about mental health in a way we haven’t talked about it as a band. Personally, I’ve been carrying the anxiety backpack around since I was a kid. I know from conversations I’ve had with friends, that they’ve related to that experience too. I’m excited for the world to have this song and people are able to listen to that little piece of emotion. — Genessa Gariano
We were playing around with leaving a lot of space, making it kind of slow, not trying to have a bunch happen with “Monday.” It was a fun challenge to let something be simple and big. There’s a lot of bass synth on that one too which was a lot of fun for me. Playing around and writing bass parts on a bass synth just naturally changed the way I wrote. — Brooke Dickson
“That’s What Makes Me Love You”:
It feels like a very realistic love song because I’m acknowledging a lot of flaws, or not even flaws, but realizing when I was in a dark anxious place that I was becoming very critical of my partner. I had a lot of relationship anxiety and I would look at any argument or tense conversation as a sign or scary thing, making it mean so much more than just a simple conversation. I got out of that place by realizing, “I love this person for exactly who they are and nothing needs to change about who they are or who I am to make each other happy.” I love that we butt heads sometimes. I love that we have these moments of learning more about each other, even if that means arguing. The song came from me flipping the narrative in my own brain to “That’s not why I should be scared. That’s why I love you.” — L.N.
I grew up listening to a lot of reggae, a lot of Bob Marley, Sublime, and No Doubt if that counts, with my older siblings. I struggle with not wanting to create baselines that are cliché. So at first, I was like, “Oh, I don’t want to do a cliché reggae bass line.” But then I realized it was fine because it was what the song was calling for. I let myself do it and I like the way it turned out. — B.D.
“Barely on My Mind”:
That’s about a really gnarly, abusive relationship I was in. It’s all about the haunting of that. When someone is told by someone, even if it’s just through their actions, that they deserve to feel like shit instead of having trust and honesty in a relationship, it can come up later in so many different ways and at so many different times. That song for me was processing that shitty relationship because it doesn’t go away, it doesn’t just disappear. — L.N.