Currents by Tame Impala | Album Review

WHEN: 17.07.2015
WHERE: Interscope Records

The excitement levels are super high right now, and not because I’ve just eaten a load of sweets. Currents is the third studio album from Australian highflyers Tame Impala, and this is an album I’ve been very excited for this year. Not a lot of you will know that while having Exploding Head Syndrome as the main outlet for my writing. One pool I dipped my toes into was a magazine called Essex Style Magazine, who I haven’t heard from in around 2 months now. Fuck those guys. Anyway, the reason why I’m talking about this is because I wrote an article about Tame Impala for the magazine essentially documenting my fangirling for them and I still don’t know if they published it or not, so the article has been posted on EHS instead. Cool? Cool.

So yeah, I’ve been a little bit excited for Currents. Tame Impala have continued to ride the wave of buzz and managed to make it even bigger with each album release. 2012’s Lonerism was a fantastic mix of psychedelic rock and psychedelic synth that produced some of their best material to date, however this time around Kevin Parker has decided to make Currents almost entirely synth-based, throwing aside the guitar riffs for 2015. I guess that means goodbye to new material sounding like Elephant but nevermind, let’s still take a look at what kinda junk is in this new record’s trunk.

Opening track Let It Happen is a fantastic way to kick off a record that boasts a sound dominated by synthesiser. Layers upon layers of sound burst out of the speakers alongside snappy drum beats and the ever-present dreamy atmosphere that hangs above the instruments. Kevin Parker’s vocals cast a hazy shadow over the beats to add a couple mellow moments into the seven minute epic, which allows the main beat to exceed at sounding really badass. The track’s showpiece lies in its ability to embed a groove right into your face as the synthesisers lay down a rhythm that’s catchy, dance-y and repeats and goes off-kilter and everything. It’s great.

Currents’ main topic appears to talk about Kevin Parker changing as a person. Whether it’s to do with maturing, or anxiety or any discoveries the main brain has made over the years a lot of the record’s material seems to reference it. In some cases this topic is plain as day thanks to track titles as Yes I’m Changing and New Person Same Old Mistakes while others like Cause I’m A Man take a little digging. All three of these tracks feature instrumentation that perform a very accessible sound, with simple drum beats and hazy synths swelling inside Yes I’m Changing, Cause I’m A Man heading down the easy listening, chill out route and New Person Same Old Mistake closing out the album in traditional psychedelic glory.

What makes these tracks great in particular is how they allow the lyrics to be heard clearly. Kevin Parker’s slight falsetto meanders through the wishy-washy music seamlessly and it allows the lyrics to reach the listener’s ears immediately, and also gives a lot of space for the listener to connect with the sound too. These tracks sound fantastic as standalone pop tracks but once you sink a little deeper into the water you will be blown away by what you can really hear too.

Currents is another superb album from Tame Impala, and once again raises the bar for Kevin Parker. All thirteen tracks flow past easily thanks to the tremendous production and the numerous hooks that feature throughout. I don’t really know how Tame Impala are going to top this one but I am very much excited to hear what’s next, but until then, I’mma keep enjoying the hell out of this one for a little bit more. For more music reviews, free downloads and interviews check out Exploding Head Syndrome on Facebook and Twitter.

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