In response to the unexpected release of Tame Impala’s epic near 8 minute saga Let It Happen NME announced that 2015 “could be totally theirs”. The Australian darlings of psychedelic rock have since unveiled the second taste, and first official single, of their highly anticipated third album Currents. The outfit, lead by Kevin Parker, has gone from success to increasing success since releasing their first self-titled EP in 2008, becoming favourites of listeners and critics alike. Their debut album Innerspeaker and follow-up LP Lonerism both won the J Award for Australian Album of the Year in 2010 and 2012 respectively, becoming the first band to do so. Additionally, Lonerism was nominated for the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Category, as well as collecting several ARIA Awards.
Although much has changed for the group since Parker’s first home-made recordings appeared online, it is clear that his unaffected, enterprising and self-reliant attitude towards music making has not, with most of the album written, performed, recorded, produced and mixed solely by the man himself in the West Australian port city of Fremantle. Cause I’m A Man does, however, reveal Tame Impala’s new and exciting sonic influences from the worlds of R&B and funk.
The slow jam is an invigorating step for the band, who indulge in phenomenal pop melodic writing, with touches of funk still buoyed by that characteristic and charismatic psyche-dance aesthetic. Not only is the chorus a perfect example of classic, catchy melodic composition, but the fairly simple structure of the track allows this instantly irresistible melodic writing to thrive throughout.
While the lyrics might seem problematic at first glance (‘Cause I’m a man, woman / Don’t always thinking before I do / ‘Cause I’m a man, woman / That’s the only answer I’ve got for you), Parker’s vulnerable falsetto used to deliver the lines could be perceived as a tongue-in-cheek navigation of the very hot topic of the validity of archetypal gender roles in contemporary society.
Whichever way you choose to interpret the song’s message, its funky infectiousness is undeniable, and if Tame Impala haven’t already had their year, NME’s prophecy could very well be fulfilled in 2015, starting with a headlining support slot at Coachella.