General Info Members: Kevin Parker- Heart of Tame Impala. Writes, records, and produces the albums. Vocals and guitar are his thing for the live shows. Jay Watson- Synthesizer, vocals, guitar Dominic Simper- Guitar, synthesizer Cam Avery- Bass, vocals Julien Barbagallo- Drums, vocals
Biography: "Much has changed since Tame Impala first emerged with an EP of dusty home recordings in 2008. By and large Kevin Parker’s approach to recording has not, though the sound coming out of his home studio has vastly expanded, as has the number of people anticipating the fruits of his labour. Tame Impala’s third album is titled Currents, and on it Parker addresses a blindingly colourful panorama of transition in the most audacious, adventurous fashion he’s yet to capture on record.
Dense with heady lyrical introspection, musically the most playful, bold and varied Tame Impala record to date, Currents is Parker putting down his weapons and embracing change as the only constant – sonically, thematically, and personally.
Musically, Currents sounds like the work of a player on top of his game and having a blast, Parker indulging his whims and unafraid to dive down the rabbit hole after an idea. Again operating as a one man studio band, Parker’s resultant record calls to mind contemporary hip hop production, Thriller, fried 70s funk, the irreverent playground Daft Punk presented on Discovery, swathes of future pop and emotional 80s balladry, all filtered through a thoroughly modern psychedelic third eye. A genre-bending soundscape fuelled equally by curiosity as it is consciousness, it’s exhilarating new territory for Tame Impala.
Lyrically the record finds Parker in a very different place in 2015 to where he was seven years ago. Transitions in life, relationships, perspectives, mindsets – Currents maps Parker’s evolution through these and finds him a brand new person. In parts of both 2010’s Innerspeaker and 2012’s Lonerism Tame Impala sounded like a guy on the outer wanting in, now that he’s found himself on the inside Parker’s turned the spotlight in on himself. Stopping to reflect on the road behind, where he finds himself currently, and the road ahead, Currents spans a tumultuous time.
The first track from the record to be unveiled, Let It Happen, is a perfectly encapsulating preview of what lies ahead. Coming in just short of eight minutes, Let It Happen traverses a swag of sonic terrain in its duration. The drums and Parker’s vocal introduction lull the listener with a sense of familiarity, until it all sweeps up into a cosmos once populated only by French robots, with insistent melody, broken machine loops, synthetic orchestration, surfing vocoder and a shredding guitar outro.
Typically, initial Tame Impala recordings saw Parker’s vocal hidden beneath a layer of psychedelic fuzz, drenched in reverb, lyrics ambiguous. Currents finds his voice front and centre, so no bones are made about his intent.
Sketched out in planes, cars, hotels and homes since the completion of Lonerism in 2012, pieced together over the later part of 2014 and early 2015 at home in Fremantle, Western Australia, Currents was written, performed, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker.
Tame Impala presents Currents, a soundtrack to life’s turbulent flow." (From the Tame Impala website) Major Discography:
If you've never heard a Tame Impala song in your life and are wondering where to begin, start with Lonerism. Next, I'd recommend Innerspeaker, Currents, and finally their EP. Sounds Like Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Indie Rock, Psychedelic, Rock, Indie Similar Artists: Pond, Gum, Melody's Echo Chamber, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Temples Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Dungen, Kurt Vile, M83
Physical Reaction/Live Show I am not exaggerating when I say that Tame Impala shows are ethereal; they are simply out of this world. From the beautiful light display, the incredible energy and #vibez, you're sure to have a blast at any Tame Impala show. Surrounded by potheads, #hipsters, and shirtless old men gettin' their groove on, the audience at a Tame Impala show are usually pretty varied. My first and only Tame Impala show was at Shaky Knees, 2015. They closed the whole festival with a beautiful late night set. When they walked onto the stage, everyone went silent. The lights strobed and flickered behind them. Kevin began with their intro song, and it was almost like the whole atmosphere changed. To my right was a stoned dude who had told me a few minutes prior he had an AP test the next day and wasn't at home studying just so he could see Tame Impala. We belted out "Why Won't They Talk To Me?" together, and everything was truly magical and blissful. After ending their main set, the audience's energy was undeniable. We begged them for an encore, and they came out and did Nothing That Has Happened Before Has Been Anything We Could Control, which was definitely a highlight for me, and a memory I'll never forget. Throughout the set, there was an insane amount of people crowd-surfing, even people in wheelchairs. In all, I think that's the thing about Tame Impala: it's for anyone and everyone. If you're feeling the music, and the music is moving you, then just let it happen. Dance like a complete fool. Everyone else will be, too.
Personal Notes Don't miss this set. Or do. It'll be easier for me to get front row again.