With the release of his first two albums, Innerspeaker and Lonerism, Tame Impala, the solo-recording project of Melbourne, Australia-based musician Kevin Parker became an international sensation. Considering that the project was initially began as a side project, such success seems incredible, if not improbable.
Parker’s third album, Currents was released last month, and the album was initially sketched out in planes, cars, hotels and a number of homes after the completion of Lonerism and while Parker was on tour to support that effort. And from the release of the album’s first two singles, ’Cause I’m a Man” and the most current single “Let It Happen” reflect a change in songwriting approach as the material is much more emotionally direct and incorporates an expanded sonic palate; in fact the material, equally draws from synth pop as it does psych rock and possess a nuanced, textured feel.
Whereas “’Cause I’m a Man” was a slow-burning, sensual R&B-inspired track that expressed masculine vulnerability and regret with an unvarnished, unadulterated frankness, “Let It Happen” is a breezy synth and guitar-based synth pop track that sounds as though it draws from Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT and In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy simultaneously as the song manages to possess a lush, painterly texture.
The recently released music video follows a harried traveling businessman rushing through an airport terminal to catch a connecting flight when he has a heart attack. The video follows the man’s last moments, including his incredibly vivid and surreal last dreams which switch between him waking up in his apartment, him having a heart attack in his apartment and suddenly awaking on the flight he was supposed to catch. As the plane is about to crash, the man is ejected from the plane, and as he briefly experiences turbulence and free-fall, his spirit floats up to the heavens. The video ends with a cut of this poor man, dead and alone on the floor of the airport terminal making it by far, the strangest and most haunting video I’ve seen because it suggests as a character says in Native Son, that “men die alone . . .”