Kevin Parker, main man of Australia’s Tame Impala, has been busy since Lonerism, their second album from 2012 which sent critics wild. He’s co-written and sung on Mark Ronson’s latest album ('Daffodils' and 'Leaving Los Feliz'), been sampled on Kendrick Lamar’s 'Backwards', and made a “you cover my song, I’ll cover yours” EP with Flaming Lips mainman Wayne Coyne.
It’s not hard to see why other musicians want what he’s having. Parker’s songs are psychedelic wonders tied down by a real-world pop sensibility and Seventies groove. He monkeys around with distortion and reverb – his recent Reddit AMA featured an indecent number of questions on effects pedals – plus a soaring, gentle voice that sounds like a prepubescent John Lennon.
Now we can hear Parker recording alone. For third album Currents, Parker has taken a thorough approach to ensuring it is exactly as he wants it, by writing, playing, producing (and, briefly, mixing) it all himself.
While Lonerism and 2010 predecessor Innerspeaker had him heralded as the future of psych-rock, Currents reveals poppier tunes, funkier rhythms and – horror – intelligible lyrics. Will die-hard fans like it? Maybe not. Will it gain him even more interesting friends and cross-pollinating projects? Most certainly.