“There’s so much pressure to constantly better yourself,” Lydia Night, lead singer and songwriter of The Regrettes, says. “We’re obsessed with social media, which makes it easy to obsess over self-growth and unhealthy amounts of productivity. 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,” she adds, acknowledging the shared inner turmoil she, guitarist Genessa Gariano, bassist Brooke Dickson, and drummer Drew Thomsen were dealing with at the start of last year. “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.” The desire to break free of that cycle is what the band’s third album, Further Joy, is all about.
As the pandemic set in and Los Angeles shut down, The Regrettes were having a full-blown identity crisis. Lydia had been touring since she was 12-years-old, meeting guitarist Genessa when they were just teens in music school. As a band, they’d been on stage long before their 2017 debut, Feel Your Feelings Fool!. And, by the time they released their critically acclaimed LP How Do You Love? in 2019, they’d formed a cohesive lineup with Brooke and Drew, setting themselves on a steady upward trajectory. They’d spent the past two years headlining sold-out shows across North America and Europe, performing at mainstay festivals like Coachella and Reading and Leeds and playing their hit singles on Good Morning America, Conan, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. As NME said of their sophomore album, The Regrettes were “truly unstoppable” until they weren’t.
“So much of our identity is tied to music and performing,” Brooke says, adding that without the distraction of playing live, they were forced to answer the question: “Who am I when I’m not performing?” That shared inner inquiry can be heard in the band’s most actualized, collaborative, and vulnerable album to date, a self-aware soundtrack for those interested in what Lydia refers to as “dancing the pain away.”