Single Review – Tame Impala – List of People (To try and Forget About)

Over two years since the release of the acclaimed Currents Tame Impala are still releasing material from those recording sessions, such is the appeal of the sound they forged a few hazy Australian summers ago. The pick of these new releases is ‘List of People (To try and Forget About) which offers up a meandering style of track that would have fitted hand in glove into the album with the whirring, resonant electronica, crisp, rhythmic percussion and Kevin Parkers dream pop vocals. It is a song that is differs to the rest of the album in how it doesn’t seek the infectious hook, but wallows in the murky soundscapes it created for itself. With the buzz from this album still being felt over rated on, what direction will Kevin Parker get lost in next time? With the band taking a break for this year, it may some time before we find out; we’ve got a fantastic album to keep replaying in the meantime though.

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Pond – Paint Me Silver

Glowing alien forms, which look as though they may have been created on some low budget Sketchup like software, dance in hypnotic repetition to a spiral of synths and surfer rock guitar as the threat of impending nuclear war begins to surround them. No this is not a strange unseen demo clip of the eighth Star Wars instalment but Australian band Pond’s latest video. A celestial reflection of an unsettled time ‘Paint Me Silver’ is the latest release in the run up to new album ‘The Weather’ due 5th May. Incorporating the band’s insanely layered synths and falsetto vocals ‘Paint Me Silver’ is a dreamlike Tame Impale style electro-pop track that hints at the otherworldly rock opera style ‘The Weather’ could turn out to be.

Hayley Miller 

This Weeks Music Video with Chemical Brothers, New Order, Beirut, Mercury Rev, Shearwater and Bibio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tame Impala – Currents Review

With one the most hotly anticipated albums of the year, Tame Impala have given us a generous serving of their third studio album Currents since the lead single ‘Let It Happen’ emerged online several months ago. Since then we’ve had three more that varied back to the blocky fuzz of their previous album as opposed to the dance driven album that’s been promised and replicated with ‘Let It Happen’. Kevin Parker has recently been speaking of making the music “He’s always wanted to do” and previously not following that up in order to keep Tame Impala with the realms of psych-rock, but with him now claiming that “boundaries are there to be broken” then you can only get excited by the promise of the album. The pivotal point here is that this is the first album delivered by the Perth quintet in the face of much attention and anticipation so have the laid back band cracked under the pressure? Have they been able to better their standards yet again?

‘Let it Happen’ is an spacious and rolling piece of neo-psychedelic dance music at nearly eight minutes long. It opens with flashing and wiry synths set above whirring electronica beneath it and this breathes in and out in its intensity to bring the focus to Kevin Parker’s isolated and wonderfully graceful vocals. As the track goes on the synths only increase in their pitch as they start to jam and repeat in a process that bridges the progression to the warped organ-like instrumental and the distorted percussion underneath it and back into the main tune. Parker’s whirring vocals lead into the brief distorted guitar parts which only enhance the current subtle tones of the song. It’s a wonderful track with the ability to be expansive and vast, immediate and catchy and wonderfully melodic too. Quite possibly the song of the year that’s the epitome of Parker’s aforementioned aims.  ‘Cause I’m a Man’ moves into slightly more familiar territory. It still embraces the fluid and smooth expanses that graced the first single, with chiming synths and Parkers sweeping and fading falsetto. These fluid soundscapes are tied around a gently meandering bass-line and a basic back beat. It is another track that doesn’t particularly focus on the guitar as a rhythm section tool as they have done, but instead they utilised them to add dimension to the chorus and carry the melody in a rough and typically distorted fashion. With this in mind, the single is more familiar than ‘Let it Happen’ with it’s laid back and hazy style, yet still maintains the altered instrumental focus that has so far been stressed with these two tracks.

With ‘Eventually’ they again feature vibrant electronica, more familiar fuzzy tones backed up with some excellent vocals by Kevin Parker with his smooth and hazy falsettos that filter through the track’s instrumentation. Here they demonstrate a subtlety and a fragility to their music. It has a simple beat and a wiry synth meandering around it which sets up the song for some well placed surges of distorted guitar to only emphasise the more considered tones as more washed out electronica flows over you. This culminates in a track that see’s it’s soundscapes blossom throughout the track instead of firing past you. A more considered approach. ‘Disciples’ sees their trademark bending guitar sound filling the sound space and being accentuated with warping and twisting synth drones and through this cuts Parker’s faded falsetto. The track shifts in and out of audible focus and this only heightens the hooks and the easy rhythm of the track which fades out before two minutes. ‘The Less I Know The Better’ offers up some funk injected psychedelia with the twisting bass line moving out and in to only heighten the groove of the track. This is paired wonderfully with whirring melodies that extend across the instrumentation with the melodies peaking with chiming, distorted synths. The song goes on to take the features of that of a blissful aged pop song before fading out in that fashion. A genre fusing track. ‘Past Life’ features a heavily pitch-shifted spoken verse before breaking and meandering into the utterly luscious monotone blast of noise from the heavily distorted and warped unison of vocals and instrumentation. Somehow this tracks dares to reach further into the depths of usable space and expansion. ‘Reality in Motion’ offers up a similar sweeps in a more lighter and direct fashion around a pop structure, but with heavily warped fringes.

‘Love Paranoia’ features a steady and heavy beat and the vocals directing the melodies and followed by the light instrumentation which gradually adds small elements such as a bass to it’s sound. The bass is charged and prominent in ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ as it rolls and tumbles it’s way in forming the song’s backbone and from this the electronica and sharp lead guitars fire out from it in a wave of sound rode upon by Parker’s high pitched harmonies. The bass sound is briefly sacrificed for a high pitched interlude before slowly flowing back into the track to conclude it. Tracks like ‘The Moment introduce those elements of a prominent bass line with chiming electronica and vocals feeding from it in an enhanced pop based structure as the song breaks down and rebuilds it’s soundscapes with wiry and spiralling electronica. ‘Yes I’m Changing’ puts these aspects into practice in a more winding and spaced out environment resembling that of 80’s pop ballad seen through the eyes of Tame Impala. The album is graceful and effortless in standing out from previous Tame Impala efforts as it sets itself apart in terms of style and production in ways that were only hinted at with Innerspeaker and Lonerism. The excellent phasing and re-envisaged soundscapes and song structures can be appreciated in multitude of ways and Parker breaks down the boundaries of the phased and heavily distorted production that Ariel Pink and Julian Casablancas couldn’t quite master. Some aspects of Random Access Memories by Daft Punk weren’t even matching Parker’s ability in production to pull a song apart and reconfigure it in a rich and all encompassing way. Whilst it may not be full of fuzzy guitars, it’s gained a hell of a lot more as Tame Impala advance.

Tame Impala – Currents = 10/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Tame Impala – Eventually

Tame Impala Play

With Tame Impala finally announcing that their third studio LP Currents will be released on July 17th, they’ve released what is now their fourth single off the upcoming album. The previous three have already featured vibrant electronica, more familiar fuzzy tones, but each track backed up with some excellent vocals by Kevin Parker with his smooth and hazy falsettos that filter through the track’s instrumentation. With ‘Eventually’ he does it again as they demonstrate their subtlety and a fragility to their music. It has a simple back beat and a wiry synth meandering around it, which sets up the song for some well placed surges of distorted guitar to only emphasise the more considered tones as more washed out electronica flows over you. The result is a chilled and relaxed track for those phased out moments. The anticipation for Currents goes on.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Tame Impala – Disciples

With their third studio album Currents fast approaching, we take a look at Tame Impala’s latest short but sweet single ‘Disciples’.Kevin Parker’s trademark bending guitar sound fills up the sound space and are accentuated with warping and twisting synth drones and through this cuts Parker’s faded falsetto. The track shifts in and out of audible focus and this only heightens the hooks and the easy rhythm of the track which fades out before two minutes. It’s a little more like their Innerspeaker material, but shows a sense of variation on the album, which will surely be the soundtrack to the summer.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Tame Impala – Cause I’m a Man

Tame Impala have now given the title Currents to their upcoming third studio album on their new label, Interscope. After treating us to the sonic paradise that is ‘Let it Happen’, Kevin Parker’s group have now moved into slightly more familiar territory with their new single ‘Cause I’m a Man’. It still embraces the more fluid and smooth expanses that graced the first single, with chiming synths and Parkers sweeping and fading falsetto. These fluid soundscapes are tied around gently meandering bass-line and a basic back beat. It is another track that doesn’t particularly focus on the guitar as a rhythm section tool as they have done, but instead they utilised to add dimension to the chorus and carry the melody in a rough and typically distorted fashion. With this in mind, the single is more familiar than ‘Let it Happen’ with it’s laid back and hazy style, yet still has maintains the altered instrumental focus that has so far been stressed with these two tracks. It all adds to the intrigue of what looks to be one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of the year.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – Tame Impala – Let It Happen

Tame Impala are back if you haven’t noticed. Kevin Parker’s conveyers of sweeping and expansive waves of neo-psychedelia have produced a debut album in Innerspeaker 2010 that most bands would dream of and entered the realms of the sublime with Lonerism in 2012. Now with their new track ‘Let it Happen’ from their upcoming third album, the Perth collective has also announced a plethora of tour dates chiefly across North America from April to September. ‘Let it Happen’ is an expensive piece of neo-psychedelic dance music at nearly eight minutes long. It opens with flashing and wiry synths set above whirring electronica beneath it and this breathes in and out in its intensity to bring the focus to Kevin Parker’s isolated and wonderfully graceful vocals. As the track goes on the synths only increase in their pitch as they start to jam and repeat in a process that bridges the progression to the warped organ-like instrumental and the distorted percussion underneath it and back into the main tune. Parker’s whirring vocals, lead into the brief distorted guitar parts which only enhance the current subtle tones of the song. It’s a wonderful track with the ability to be expansive and vast, immediate and catchy and wonderfully melodic too. Instead of staying in their comfort zone, they have explored and reimagined their sound again. It’s asking a lot, but Tame Impala responded with the smooth effortlessness that is ‘Let It Happen’

Single Review – Pond – “Elvis” Flaming Star

Perth’s Pond are to return with their sixth studio album on January 26th in their recent announcement for Man it feels like Space Again. Following on from last year’s Hobo Rocket; current and former Tame Impala members such as Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson and Cam Avery will be looking to better their fifth studio effort which was solid and musically flamboyant, yet this did not stretch out to the whole album which was at times lacking diversity. It was in fact one of the few weak points of the album which leaves a lot of optimism for their next LP. Their new track ‘”Elvis” Flaming Star’ has a more indelible rhythmic twist in comparison to their previous year’s work, with the hand claps, snappy percussion and sharp rhythm guitar sections. These are anchored by a rapid bass line and strung out via the echoed and loose fitting vocals. The track’s structure momentarily falls through the trap draw for a spaced out interlude before launching back into the infectious rhythms. A bold and exciting track that bodes well for their January release.

VIDEO – SIDEWALK CHALK, “DRUNK IN LOVE/PERTH” LIVE MASH UP

Here is a video of Chicago hip hop band Sidewalk Chalk completing a live mash up of Beyoncé’s ‘Drunk In Love’ and Bon Iver’s ‘Perth’. It was recorded and filmed at Studio Delux in Chicago and see’s them clashing several genre’s of soul, hip hop and jazz with a live band behind them. Take a look!