Tame Impala’s new album Currents is here, and it is just more proof that they only improve with time. I found them awhile ago, back with their 2010 album Innerspeaker, and fell in love with their musical style and the lead singer’s vocals. When this new album came out I was very excited, but though it is beyond excellent, I don’t think it’s what anyone was expecting. This album is quite different from anything Tame Impala has done so far, relying much more heavily on instrumental sections and utilizing new instruments and vocal ranges.
Tame Impala is quite interesting in that it is mainly a one man band, until it is time to perform. Kevin Parker is the main mastermind behind this psychedelic rock group. He uses layering and voiceovers heavily while playing various instruments in the studio, but when performing it’s kind of hard to play multiple instruments at once, so he has some friends come and help.
That alone is pretty unique, but this new album truly shows Parker’s potential. After two albums entitled Lonerism and Innerspeaker, he has finally started to come out and discover more of an unexplored realm of music genres. His new album is centered around the idea of self-discovery and changing, and it is completely separate and new from anything else he has done so far.
Currents is a huge step from the gentle harmonies and soft instrumental breaks in previous albums. For example, throughout the song “Past Life,” there is a narration in a strange, almost robotic voice while a futuristic melody plays in the background. It is very different, and yet I find myself listening to it over and over.
When comparing the soft beats of “Lucidity” (from Innerspeaker) to the more energetic dance beats of “Let It Happen” (from Currents), I am amazed, but delightfully so.
The jump from one album to the other is not so great that you can’t compare them and find their familial ties, and yet rather than a new sister album I think of this album as rather the old album, but more mature and willing to explore a bright new world of possibilities.
Tuned In is a regular music column written by Michele Haeberlin, Current Staff.