A few years back Grandaddy and The Thrills tried their hands at expanding our musical psyche by creating a more atmospheric brand of pop using electronic elements to create complex landscapes. Tame Impala has just taken that idea and upped it by a large margin. Perhaps it’s the drugs; maybe the work of a deeper genius; whatever it is, Kevin Parker has taken Tame Impala into a hazy dance utopia and Currents is the staggering result.
Parker has admitted in interview that the concept for this album came from a mix of mushrooms, coke and the classic Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive.” This makes perfect sense as Currents removes the fun elements of disco and replaces it with a laid back reflective quality. The funk is slowed to a point where dance is done in a slow fluid sway. Instead of John Travolta doing a 12:30 AM splits with arm raised, you picture a 5 AM sway of people who refuse to let the party die.
Parker sings “giving in to all this bullshit / is this what you want? / is this who you are?” on the song “The Less I Know The Better.” However the atmospherics reduce the sentiment to more of a lazy refrain than an accusatorial question. A sort of “I’m quite tired, and this is so a conversation for tomorrow” thing.
Currents has an emotional resonance that rises slowly from unconscious depths only to reach an epiphany when you stop trying to grasp it. Like a great sunrise, it is best if you just lie back and enjoy the moment.
Currents was available in limited coloured vinyl… but it sold out. Oh well…