Today brought a completely unexpected surprise with the Australian “band” Tame Impala, which is almost exclusively Kevin Parker, particularly on this record, “Currents”. I’m still not exactly sure why I chose to add this one, even though it is rated #382 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, but I sure am glad I did. The sound takes me back to 1980s British synthesized new wave, but instead it is 2015 and the origin is Australia. Even as a legacy guitarist, this album is heavily synth-based and Parker does a fantastic job creating a vibe and a mood that extends through the entire record. If I had to compare them to some other artists, two that come to mind are New Order and Cocteau Twins.
The album opens with “Let It Happen”, which was the 1st single and certainly defines the sound for the rest of the record. Next comes the song “Nangs”, with some very hypnotic synthesizer, I really love the aura of this tune. “The Moment” is a great pop song, very up-tempo, and I’m honestly surprised this wasn’t released as one of the four singles from the album.
The next two songs are very similar in sound. “Yes I’m Changing” and “Eventually”, which was the 3rd single released, have a similar feel and sound that is true to the larger album. I particularly appreciate the slow beauty of “Yes I’m Changing”.
As I tried to recall the music of this act, I looked at the highest streamed songs and saw “The Less I Know the Better”, with over 1 billion plays on my service alone. The irony here is I think this song, which was the 4th and last single released, is somewhat of a mood-breaker, as it is more of a straight-forward rocker, and one of my least favorite songs on a really strong total release.
“Past Life” is an odd, techno-based song, and on “Disciples”, you can really appreciate the prominent falsetto as the pace accelerates. “Cause I’m a Man” slows it back down, and it is just very impressive how lush and full in sound all of these melodies evolve into.
As much as I enjoyed all of these songs, Parker saved the best for last on “New Person, Same Old Mistakes”. This one hits heavier, with an almost-funky keyboard riff, and it bounces with a perfect thump. In total, I can’t say that I was familiar with Tame Impala prior to this listen, but I can honestly see myself adding almost every song to my master playlist, and I will ultimately look back at this as one of my favorite discoveries of the entire experience.