Tame Impala is back.
Musical mastermind, Kevin Parker, has been hard at work the last couple of years (including highlighting Mark Ronson’s Uptown Special), and subsequently released the first single of the yet-to-be-titled follow-up to 2012’s downright amazing, Lonerism, on Wednesday, March 11th.
An epic and sprawling cosmic voyage, “Let It Happen,” clocks in just under eight minutes and can be seen as an ever growing microcosm of all things Tame Impala.
The psychedelic synth rocker commences with a whirring drone and stomping drums we’ve grown accustomed to in Parker’s musicality. Yet there appears to be a more electronic and minimal approach as oscillating key tones drive the song forward.
The opening track on his previous album, “Be Above It,” evoked a speaker’s personal mantra, the fight against succumbing to the negative forces inhabiting our space, and resisting the daily pressures around us. While “Let It Happen” shares that similar DNA, Kevin Parker finds himself at a very different place in his career than where he was in the midst of Lonerism’s inception.
Not to take away from the fantastic debut, Innerspeaker, but his last output topped ‘End of the Year’ lists, earned a Grammy nomination (which it should’ve won), and propelled Tame Impala into the spotlight of commercial fame, highlighted by the triumphantly cool “Elephant” soundtracking Blackberry ads around its release.
Musical history has taught us that success can be a double-edged sword. Sure, success can breed even more ambition, but it can also generate complacency. Regardless of either path it takes, success certainly increases attention. Scrutiny and criticism follow shortly thereafter, which does little else besides manifesting unwanted pressure.
Luckily for us, Kevin Parker seems to be battling the cons of success without faltering in the least. His brand new mantra begins as his classic ethereal vocals wail,
“It’s always around me, all this noise, but not really loud as the voice sayin’, ‘let it happen, let it happen.’”
Parker has spoken about his inability to perform and produce under creative restraints, i.e. record company imposed timelines, obligatory trips to exterior studios, and his method of operating seems to be paying off in ingenious dividends. He thrives in his makeshift studios. Whether it’s his Paris apartment or off the beaches of Western Australia, he’s working at his own pace. He’s not forcing anything, just simply allowing his inspiration and creation to take their natural courses.
Tame Impala’s lone genius talks of psychedelia in a similar school of thought shared by Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, proclaiming his obsession with, “confusing people as to the origin of sound” and on “Let it Happen” – he goes for gold.
At its midpoint, like some mad scientist of melody, he loops and layers synths to the point where the sound traverses to an emulation of string based orchestral interludes, slowly devolving into a repetitive soundscape of electronic humming.
Parker teases out the reverberation in tantalizing fashion before a one beat drop and subsequent synesthetic explosion of sound and color takes flight, to what’s surely going to send festival goers into a dancing frenzy come this summer (fingers crossed for Lollapalooza).
On the first chorus, Kevin Parker exclaims his recent endeavor to cover his shadow, to rise above his past accomplishments: the ridiculously high bar Lonerism set, and continue to strive onward. I’d say this is a pretty damn good start.
Welcome back, KP. We missed you.
Buy tickets here for Tame Impala’s show at Riviera Theatre on Friday May 15th.
(Featured Photo courtesy of Kennysun)