Fresh off the heels of what is sure to be a mind-blowing, trance-inducing, hallucinogenic set at the Gorge Amphitheatre for the 13th annual Sasquatch! Music Festival, Australia’s newest rock ambassadors, Tame Impala, will be making a stop at Portland’s Roseland Theater to treat fans to their tasty brand of psychedelic music. And although the show is sold out, don’t let that stop you from indulging in some of this generation’s best new music.
By now you’ve probably heard of Tame Impala and their brainchild frontman, the reclusive Kevin Parker. The Perth-born musician really exploded almost three years ago with his sophomore album Lonerism and has amassed a huge following thanks to his tripped-out, swirling light shows, orchestral buildups, and chewy yet palatable dream-state jams. The internet has dubbed Parker a “musical genius” and a brief look at his resume makes it hard to disagree.
The 29-year-old multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer has created a wave of neoteric psych pop that manages to balance the thin line between cult status and Top 40, relying heavily on his reverb, echo, fuzz and phaser effects pedals. A self-described “loner,” Parker is generally found secluded in his home or at the studio laying down the individual instrumental tracks for each Tame Impala song. It’s not until each track has been fully recorded that his friends and backing band are able to learn each part to play them in a live setting.
This year, Tame Impala are set to drop their third full-length LP, Currents. Initially, Parker kept the official release date a secret, but that didn’t stop him from leaking a few singles to tease his fans. First came the free download of “Let It Happen” (listen below), eight minutes of a propulsive psychedelic and electronic groove mashed with swirling ambience and titillating, manipulated vocals. It’s a cosmic ride that breaks into a synth-laden jam midway through before letting you float smoothly till the end.
A second teaser, “Cause I’m a Man” (listen below), came a month later as a slow-burning synth ballad describing the cavalier nature of men. With the album due out in July, both seem to be a departure from Parker’s previous work but are, nevertheless, standout tracks that show he has plenty of range and no true boundaries when it comes to experimentation. And now just this month, Tame Impala have dropped two more treats from the new record: "Disciples" and "Eventually."
Opening for a band as big as Tame Impala might sound like a daunting task, but musician Hank Sullivant is up for the challenge. The ex-bassist of The Whigs and a touring guitarist for MGMT has joined together with a few of his friends to create some deliciously sugary pop under the moniker Kuroma. Taking all the pleasantries of summer and regurgitating them as rays of melodic sunshine, Kuroma is set to shine bright through the other murky offerings out there these days. Their latest LP, Kuromarama (released April 7), has plenty of catchy hooks and cheery beats to last you all the way through the impending season—listen below.