By Nic Sanderson
On April 5, Kevin Parker’s psychedelic project announced the follow-up to Lonerism they’ve been hinting at for a while, entitled Currents. Along with it came a new track, “Cause I’m a Man”, fresh on the heels of another, “Let it Happen”, released as a free download on March 11. Both songs demonstrate a greater leap into electronic incorporation, and by an even more significant margin than the last album Tame Impala took a more synth-based step with.
Parker always had an incredible knack for weaving catchy bubblegum-melodies into elaborate soundscapes, but in “Let it Happen” he manages to refine this catchiness into four syllables. The titular line doesn’t necessarily serve as a chorus, as much as it just punctuates the song’s condensed, repetitive verses. “Let it Happen” manages to keep its listener immersed with digestible hooks, and entranced by restrained structural advancements.
Of course, my first instinct is to call the song more electronic, but its integration of analog-flavored synthesis seems more ambiguous than that. Take the prominent, skippy melody repeated in the opening for instance. It wouldn’t be difficult to make a case either way for it being played on a synthesizer or played on a guitar. The semi-robotic vocals in the vocoder section emerge vitalized by smooth, organic undertones. While it might be more electronic, it sure isn’t Kid A.
“Cause I’m a Man” takes on a much tenderer disposition. The bass propels a buoyant groove that and is filled by ambient keys. Little distance is lain between the verse and chorus, with the most distinguishing factor being the responsive guitar accompanying Parker’s apparently apologetic admission of helplessness in lines like “Cause I’m a man, woman/that’s the only answer I’ve got for you”. After each build the song seems to instantly relax back into this sort of simple acceptance. However you may feel about their ever-evolving sound, Tame Impala’s newest material certainly demonstrates that they are transitioning out of the realm of “revivalist throwback”.