Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker shifts gears a bit for his third album, drawing as much from ’80s soul and disco as he has from prog-rock and psychedelia. Though such a change could threaten to derail a good thing, Parker is the consummate perfectionist, and Currents’ various strands are braided together without a hair out of place. Opener “Let It Happen” builds from a proggish uphill chug into a psychedelic freakout and finally hits its stride with a silky disco beat. “Eventually” relies on rock dynamics but uses fat synthesizers to achieve its booming changes. And a tune like crystalline psych-funk jam “The Less I Know the Better” seems to marry all of Parker’s influences into a perfect amalgam, calling to mind everything from Michael Jackson to My Bloody Valentine. Through it all, Parker is the same chill knob-twiddler he’s always been, but he’s come out of his shell a bit more—it takes confidence to command a song like “’Cause I’m a Man,” which gloriously oozes ’70s cheese, akin to Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” or 10CC’s “I’m Not in Love.” From the get-go, Parker himself seems to be reflecting on the change—“Something’s trying to get out/And it’s never been closer,” he sings on “Let It Happen.” It’s confirmed by the time we get to “Yes I’m Changing,” ostensibly a breakup ballad but it seems more pointedly about an introvert accepting accidental stardom (“Curse indulgence and despise the fame/There’s a world out there and it's calling my name”). This lyrical theme, the sense that Parker is coming into his own as not only a songwriter and performer but human being, gives Currents a unity that even the superb Lonerism didn’t have. In every way, Currents is a complete triumph, both as a fascinating headphones album for production junkies and as a set of immaculate psych-pop songs that feels endlessly giving.
Jessie Jones – “I Ran So Far”
No, it’s not a Flock of Seagulls cover. “I Ran So Far” is the third song we’ve heard from Jessie Jones’ upcoming self-titled Burger debut. “I keep running, but I don’t know why,” she sings over a countrified gallop, her exacting diction and vocal tics helping to capture the feeling of unsettled wanderlust. Pearl Charles comes out July 28. Hear it via Spin.
Peacers – “Laze It” video
S.F.’s Mike Donovan of great psych-rockers Sic Alps has a new band called Peacers, whose self-titled debut album comes out tomorrow on Drag City. Give the video for “Laze It” about half a minute before the Stones riffs and psychedelic surf imagery gets going.
In the video, drummer Georgia Hubley walks around Silver Lake casually picking up multicolored trinkets while people literally explode around her and giant hearts rain down like meteorites. Bandmates Ira Kaplan and James McNew also appear, though McNew loses most of his body in the mayhem. It’s a perfect marrying of twee and doomsday sensibilities.
Watch the video below:
Watch the band’s episode of “What’s In My Bag?” below:
|Image: Maria Louceiro|
"I've Been Waiting for Her" has all the elements we've come to love over the past couple of DeMarco releases—shiney, sticky guitars playing quick and summery riffs and wavering in and out of tune over DeMarco's slacker-romantic drawl, coming together seemingly effortlessly yet perfectly executed. It's the second song we've heard from the release after "The Way You'd Love Her."
Stream the song below. Another One is available for preorder on LP and CD now. DeMarco will play at S.F.'s Outside Lands festival Aug. 8 and L.A.'s FYF Fest Aug. 23. Two-day tickets to FYF Fest are still available at Amoeba Hollywood while supplies last.
Tickets are now for sale for Beserktown II, taking place at the Observatory in Santa Ana Aug. 14-16. Single-day passes are $55 and a three-day pass is $125, and you can pick them up now at Amoeba Hollywood while supplies last with only a $2 service fee.
The punk-heavy show features such bands as Thee Oh Sees, Royal Trux, Total Control, Destruction Unit, Fucked Up, Lust for Youth, Sheer Mag, Black Bananas, White Lung and more. It's being put on by our friends at KXLU.
Check out our episode of "What's In My Bag?" with Black Bananas below, featuring Jennifer Herrema, also of Royal Trux, as well as an episode with Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham of Fucked Up: