Music: Tame Impala Let It Happen

An inherent and at times frustrating characteristic of stoner/psychedelic rock is its artists’ apparent inability to adapt and evolve; often a psychedelic band’s follow-up album shares the same creative postcode as its predecessor. Like someone smoking a cigarette in gym clothes, the counter-productivity of predictably repetitive releases hurts your head.

Tame Impala have shown glimpses of what separates them sonically from the bands with whom they share genres: 2012’s Be Above It is one example of their willingness to let techno influences into their music.

Their latest track, Let It Happen – a mammoth single which clocks in at a touch under 8 minutes – grows from an electronic march through a swelling groove-funk bass plateau into an vast expanse of space techno, eventually making a return to a heavier, skipping remake of the opening sequence. Kevin Parker’s vocals here are more or less the same as what they’ve been in Tame’s material to date as they glide heavenly atop the song throughout its never-ending groovy house momentum.

Let It Happen blew my pre-conceived thoughts of what their next release would sound like completely out of the water, so much so that it has taken me a month to recover from the initial listen to be able to coherently describe it.

That being said, the direction they’ve taken wasn’t completely unpredictable given what Parker has been doing in his spare time since 2012’s Lonerism. Numerous collaborations with Mark Ronson, an appearance on French electro duo Discodeine’s Aydin and his current production of Western Australian hip-hop/‘Nu Jazz’ Koi Child’s upcoming debut album have hinted at Parker’s – and, inevitably, Tame Impala’s – outside influences.

Let It Happen signals an overwhelmingly exciting and promising shift in direction for Australia’s best hitherto ‘stoner rock’ export.



Words by Matt Lengren