Australian psychedelic rocker Tame Impala (a.k.a. Kevin Parker) found his way onto the music radar in 2010 with his debut release Innerspeaker, introducing the world to his lo-fi, effect-dampened sound that gave a new face to the psychedelic genre. In 2012, he did it again with Lonerism, attributing a stronger, alternative pop style into the sophomore album. Since then, his solo work took a backseat as he toured and was featured on a few songs and albums – most noteably on three tracks from Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special. Ready to return to his individual work, Parker has now released his third studio album Currents. For fans, his latest collection does not stray too far from his familiar sound, but he does create some breathing room in his style, clustering together elements of 70’s synth-pop and disco for comfortable, yet refreshing Tame Impala album.
“Let it Happen” was the first single distributed to the world back in March, and the 7-minute track was the first taste of his newly designed disco sound. “The Moment” highlights his sharp ability to create subtle hooks and secondary layers of pleasurable pop foundations that continue to come out with each new listen. Rarely can artists transform and readapt their staple sound into something distinct and innovative – especially on a third album; Currents is somewhat of a paradox: it is Tame Impala but not simultaneously.
Reminiscent of the distorted, alternative vibe of some of his early songs (e.g. Elephants), “Eventually” stands out on the record, ranging from the aforementioned alternative explosiveness to whispering psychedelic synth swelling and back again.
From start to finish, the new album is melodic, dizzying, and hallucinatory, giving Tame Impala’s music a new dimension. Wanting to capture a more vibrant, dance-friendly atmosphere, Currents accomplishes that mission, making the record something open for sharing and experiencing with others.