You have to admire John and Cyn’s boy. One of the most famous musical offsprings of all time, it can’t have been easy for him, regardless of how easily his surname would have opened doors. He must have had every move and every breath overanalysed and compared to his father for every second of his musical career.
This is his second album – a solid effort, despite everything he had going against him. Yes, he sounds like John – but nowhere as near as much as Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. The scary thing though is how much he looks like John. Just take a look at that album cover – he’s 23 years old; about the same age as John in 1963. Essentially it’s John’s face with a mullet instead of a moptop.
A couple of years ago, there was a bit of buzz around a band being formed by the sons of the four respective Beatles. The press had a field day with the resulting pun-filled headlines; Here Come The Sons being the best of a very bad bunch. I’m so happy there was no truth to the rumours. Pop will truly have eaten itself that day.
I don’t often buy contemporary music, but when I do…
This is the third release from one-man-band Kevin Parker, a resident of Fremantle, Western Australia. Parker seemingly listened to Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles on a loop throughout his childhood. Who can blame him? What else is there to do in Perth anyway? Chase flies? Work on your tan?
That isolation from the rest of Australia – and from the rest of the world – has seen other artists sprout out of Fremantle, namely Bon Scott from the mighty AC/DC. There’s even a statue of Scott erected in the harbour in Fremantle. I wonder if Parker has seen that statue since it was built in 2008. If he has, I wonder what he thought about it. Given the hipster mentality, I’m guessing he thinks it’s just about the worst thing that could potentially happen to somebody. If they proposed it, he might die from embarrassment, and then they’d definitely have to build one in his honour. How awful…
Tame Impala’s third marks a slight departure from the garage rock sound of Innerspeaker and Lonerism. There are noticeably more synths this time around, but essentially it retains that similar sound – rotating soundscapes, dreamy vocals and what feels like a never-ending toy box of musical instruments. The drums sound more programmed rather than played, and so it’s not a million miles away from where Daft Punk were moving to on the more chilled out moments of Random Access Memories. The Less I Know The Better sounds like it could have been on Ladyhawke’s debut album – and in fact a decent chunk of the album has that lovely, dreamy ‘80s pop thing going on, in the vein of Cliff Martinez’s score for Drive (2011).
Since buying Currents, I’ve hardly had it off my turntable. Opening track Let It Happen is currently my favourite song of the moment – almost eight minutes of Kevin Parker giving the world an update on where his head is at the moment. Here’s to album number four.
I heard Tame Impala’s Elephant earlier this year on a compilation CD given away free with a rock magazine. I liked it immediately – my song of the year, hands down. What a groove – like the Super Furry Animals doing a T. Rex cover of the Dr. Who theme, with John Lennon on vocals.
I bought the album that weekend (I can’t remember the last time I did that on the strength of hearing just one song) and it became an instant favourite on the turntable. In fact the album was the soundtrack of my trip down to Dunedin to see Aerosmith play in April. It’s funny how albums do that, especially new albums. I remember when I used to go on holiday with my parents – begrudgingly of course – in my early teens. I would buy a new album just before the holiday, and it would always weld itself into the fabric of my memories of the trip.
The rest of Lonerism isn’t as focused as Elephant. I’m not entirely sure what genre of music the whole album could be classified under; although the music press is keen on pigeon-holing them as a psychedelic rock band. I’m not so sure. It doesn’t sound a million miles away from the likes of Super Furry Animals, but it’s more laid-back than that. Kevin Parker, the man behind the music, has heard a Floyd album or two in his time, that’s for sure.