They’re in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned Aussie psy­che­delic rock­ers, but Tame Im­pala aren’t afraid to ex­plore new di­rec­tions, as new al­bum Cur­rents, a boppy af­fair by cre­ative con­troller Kevin Parker, at­tests

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD - KATHY MCCABE

Kevin Parker should be danc­ing. Disco danc­ing. The Tame Im­pala cre­ative con­troller has un­ex­pect­edly made their third al­bum Cur­rents a mir­ror­ball-friendly af­fair, a record one might ex­pect from Daft Punk rather than Aus­tralian psy­che­delic rock­ers who have be­come one of the most in-de­mand acts on the planet with their facemelt­ing jams.

Parker doesn’t think he can dance but jokes he is not rul­ing out chore­og­ra­phy for their up­com­ing Splen­dour In the Grass or fu­ture gigs.

“I’m not rul­ing out dance classes,” he says, chuck­ling.

“I think there is a the­ory that peo­ple who know how to cre­ate grooves are good at in­ter­pret­ing them. But have you ever met a drum­mer who can dance? Do they ex­ist? Can Dave Grohl dance? I am prob­a­bly go­ing to get a heap of re­sponses on this. Oh, Sheila E, she could dance.”

It may be the only mu­si­cally in­clined ta­lent he can­not claim. Parker wrote the songs, played the in­stru­ments, recorded, pro­duced and mixed Cur­rents.

In be­tween fin­ish­ing the world tour for Tame Im­pala’s ac­claimed sec­ond al­bum Loner­ism, Parker hooked up with his mate, English pro­ducer and DJ Mark Ron­son, to con­trib­ute to his Up­town Spe­cial al­bum. The Aus­tralian mu­si­cian ended up on three tracks in­clud­ing the sin­gle Daf­fodils. He also worked on Man It Feels Like Space Again, the sixth al­bum from his friends Pond.

Parker then de­camped to his West Aus­tralian base to make Cur­rents. The 29-yearold artist has al­ways pre­ferred the iso­la­tion of­fered by Aus­tralia’s west coast, record­ing Tame’s 2010 de­but record In­ner­s­peaker in the “tree house” with en­vi­ably stun­ning 180-de­gree views of the In­dian Ocean. Loner­ism ses­sions also hap­pened back in Perth and Paris, the home of his now ex-girl­friend Melody Pro­chet, of Melody’s Echo Cham­ber.

He prefers to cre­ate in a bub­ble of his own mu­si­cal imag­i­na­tion and doesn’t seem keen to ex­plore how Cur­rents rides the dance Zeit­geist. “I feel more in­su­lar about my mu­si­cal no­tions, whether that’s true or not,” he says.

“I like to be­lieve that ideas for songs and sounds are in­ter­nally home ground rather than I heard this sound and I want some­thing like that.

“For me, it’s all on a sub­con­scious level.

“I have al­ways been a huge Daft Punk fan and disco mu­sic in what­ever form but I guess I never fully em­braced it as some­thing I could stand by. There’s al­ways been that stigma against dance mu­sic or disco – I’m a gui­tar player, you know.

“But this time, I em­braced all things. I love to see what would hap­pen. You get to do that at this point of my life.”

This point of Parker’s life is all over the lyrics.

His re­la­tion­ship and breakup with Pro­chet in­forms half the al­bum, while the rest ap­pears to be ad­dress­ing the big ques­tions to be faced by a young man con­tem­plat­ing adult­hood in his late 20s.

And like all good late twenty-some­things at­tuned to this phase of one’s life, Parker did some read­ing on the Saturn re­turn.

For those who missed that chap­ter in their adult de­vel­op­ment course, in as­trol­ogy, the first Saturn re­turn is when that planet comes back to the po­si­tion it was in at your birth, which is roughly 29 years, mark­ing the end of youth.

“I came across that term half­way through work­ing on the al­bum and I guess I was go­ing through a lot men­tally, re­vis­it­ing how I think about life, love and the uni­verse,” Parker says.

“I am not as­tro­log­i­cally minded, although I was into the zo­diac in high school but I got over that when I started study­ing as­tron­omy and you can’t be­lieve in both.

“Maybe there is some science to it, a rea­son that peo­ple in their late 20s have this sud­den re­arrange­ment of their per­spec­tives on life.

“I came re­ally close to call­ing a song Saturn Re­turn be­cause it seemed all too per­fect.”

Tame Im­pala's Kevin Parker was in­spired by his own angst to cre­ate the band’s lat­est al­bum,


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