by Kyle Taylor |
Few acts have been successful in producing modern psychedelic rock records. Tame Impala is an easily distinguishable exception to that problem. The Australian group first made waves in the music community with their debut record, InnerSpeaker, in 2010. After widespread positive reception from music critics across the globe, the band has since set off on numerous worldwide headlining tours, additionally touring in support of one of psychedelic rock’s most foremost modern pioneers: The Flaming Lips.
Titled Currents, the new record opens with the thematically evolving single “Let It Happen”. Rolling in at nearly eight minutes, the track calls much needed attention to the fading art of long-lasting, progressive rock songs. Immersed in a thick atmosphere of psychedelic ambiance, the debut single sets the subtle, nurturing tone for the entire record that is soon to follow.
Washed out soprano vocals from lead singer Kevin Parker plague the album beginning to end, carrying each track through waves of sound driven by synthesizer chimes, resonating guitar plucks, and chanting drum beats. Individual instruments are quickly and easily lost within dense clouds of sound. Reverberating notes from each member of the band collide with one another, weaving in and out of themselves.
Both hope and dismal defeat are easily found in Currents. The feeling portrayed by each song seems rather open to interpretation by the listener, depending on his or her mood at a particular given time. What is an uplifting song of hope at first listen can be returned to soon after and heard in an entirely different fashion, as a mournful cry for help or a shout of engulfing loneliness.
The polymorphic nature of the record truly leaves it standing in a category of its own. Very rarely have rock albums matched the thought provoking indulgence that Tame Impala creates as the record unfolds. The ever-shifting mood of the album further matches its audio aesthetic, which is equally indecisive in feeling. That indecisiveness, however, seems the album’s strongest quality, whereas for many groups it has served as the biggest plight.
10) “‘Cause I’m a Man” [Official Music Video]