We’ve all felt the burn of a favorite band changing their established style. So when I first heard new tracks from Tame Impala’s upcoming album, Currents, I braced myself: would it hold up to 2012’s Lonerism? Yes, this is the iconically condescending question to ask. But Lonerism, with classic kick-back tracks like “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and “Mind Mischief,” warrants such music-nostalgia.
As soon as the drumline beat entered, I knew Tame Impala was going in a new direction. I could already see the pessimistic album reviews and snarky YouTube comments, all crying: “the 2012 album was sooo much better.” But I was mad into this new sound.
“Let It Happen,” the first release, is titled as if to signal to fans the massive change in Kevin Parker’s (Tame Impala’s frontman) style. “I can’t fight it much longer,” he sings, ambiguous lyrics potentially describing the shift from stoner-rock into a fuller, electronic-orchestral sound. I eagerly consumed this change, from the drum-squad beats to the controlled glitches of 3:30-4:00. The single is also over 7 minutes long, making it an epic force that dominates any playlist.
We can’t say we’re surprised by this shift. In November, Tame Impala’s keyboardist Jay Watson predicted the upcoming album was going to be “less rock and more electronic.”
Based on the 4 recently released singles “Let It Happen,” “‘Cause I’m A Man,” “Disciples,” and “Eventually,” the July 17th album will revive a Flaming Lips era of funky electro-psych. The collection already reminds me of “Fight Test,” so I’ve been playing Tame Impala all weekend, mixed with the latest Unknown Mortal Orchestra singles and some old school Flaming Lips– a summer playlist equally suited for an outdoor picnic or relaxing indoors.
If Tame Impala’s new style is too different for you die-hard fans to handle, the chorus of “Eventually” promises: “I’ll know that I’ll be happier/And you will too.”
Oh! Don’t be fooled by this fake 5th release, “Yes I’m Changing.” The vocals, on top of being hilariously awful, are not Kevin Parker, who even instagrammed a video of the band hysterically laughing when they discovered the fake.
If you use Spotify, check out this Tame Impala inspired playlist I’m listening to too much: