TAME IMPALA / CURRENTS

I know, I know, I’m sorry. The Summer has been a typical Summer and you may have noticed a distinct absence of material on Mojo20.com due to constant drinking, holidaying and various other shenanigans. But in the back of my head, throughout the past two months has been the need to feature one of the best albums of the year by far and deliver to those that don’t already know, that Tame Impala are back and in quite convincing fashion.

 

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‘Currents’ was released back in the middle of July (again, apologies) and since then, not only have I not been able to stop listening to it but I’ve spoken to many a music fan that shares my opinion and addiction. Tame Impala have, in 2015, become one of the biggest bands on the planet and damn right as well. Now, the album is a much more subtle and down tempo affair to previous LP ‘Lonerism’ which was responsible for some of the biggest indie tracks of the past decade in ‘Feels like we only go backwards’ and ‘Elephant’. These songs to any of you that are familiar, had a certain grit to them and especially ‘Elephant’ which I would say holds the greatest example of that Tame Impala sound with the heavy bass blended with progressive synths. As I mentioned before, the new album is a much softer approach and I’m not so sure they’ve maintained any of that grit or edge but instead trading it in for something a little more dreamy and whimsical. It wouldn’t be the first time we’d have seen a band do this and unlike previous attempts by other artists, it certainly isn’t a negative point. On first run through of the album, I’ll admit, I was looking out for that one big future single, the one that could fill a dance floor just like ‘Elephant’, but it never really came. I enjoyed the album, but I had a mission and I’d not reached my goal at all.

Months before the album was actually released we’d been teased with single releases like ‘Let it Happen’ and ‘Cause I’m A Man’, and I’d liked what I was hearing, but neither of these stood out as the one to blow them all away. Sure, both tracks would be eagerly played at Transmission but with them being a little progressive, a tiny bit unknown and also slightly lengthy this wouldn’t be the one to blow the roof off the place and we certainly hadn’t found a replacement for ‘This Charming Man’ (so you can breathe now Morrissey). However, it was on a second run through that I realised the genius behind it all. Whilst replaying ‘Cause I’m a Man’ I realised that despite the steady tempo and minimalist style mixed with those unmistakable Kevin Parker falsetto vocals, this music is some of the most incredibly engineered music of our time and even though all these characteristics make the song sound a certain way, the energy and feeling it evokes is completely different. I want to sing at the top of my voice when i hear it and dance as hard as I would if Motorhead was playing. The layers and the production and just the thought, care and effort that Parker has put into creating this album is evident and you come to appreciate it so organically.

Once I’d made this realisation, songs like ‘Less I Know The Better’ and ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ had taken on new life and actually felt quite fast paced as you get involved in picking apart the song and it’s melody to appreciate every inch of it.

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

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