New from The Arcs, Tame Impala
The summer of 2015 was a fruitful period of musical output, with the release of albums such as The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness” and Dr. Dre’s “Compton.” Most recently, Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame and psychedelic quintet Tame Impala have released two explosive indie records that provide listeners with a breath of fresh air.
The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily
Black Keys frontman and Ohio native Dan Auerbach debuted his new side-project last week with the release of Yours, Dreamily. Combining soulful rock with solid psychedelic grooves, the record is one of the best released all year.
“Put a Flower in Your Pocket” provides listeners with an instant hit. Influence from the likes of Blind Faith and Pink Floyd prevails throughout. With its deep bass groove and female backing vocals, it is undeniably the record’s knockout single.
“Stay in My Corner” could be mistaken for a ‘70s soul number, showcasing Auerbach’s range of musical talent and influence. Likewise, “Velvet Ditch” serves as a bluesy roots-rock tune, sporting a saxophone riff and strong, smoky vocals.
Tracks such as “The Arc” and the single “Outta My Mind” feature prominent guitar distortion, and most closely resemble traditional Black Keys tunes. While this album marks a slight departure in Auerbach’s musical direction, it in no way alienates his former fans; it contains all the alternative-indie grit that his primary gig could offer.
The record finishes strong with “Searching the Blue,” a mellow, Beatles-eque piano track. Throughout Yours, Auerbach skillfully weaves light soft-rock passages with hard, demanding sequences.
Despite its handful of disposable tracks, Yours marks an interesting move in Auerbach’s career from gutsy garage-rock to a more sophisticated survey of
Tame Impala – Currents
Tame Impala’s second record, Lonerism, made waves in the indie ocean when it hit the scene in 2012. In their newest LP, the psychedelic Australian outfit edges away from their previous organic sound toward synth-laden ‘80s pop.
Currents is highly reminiscent of both Chromeo and Phoenix, with its dance-worthy rhythms and phenomenal production value.
The record’s first two tracks are, unfortunately, rather forgettable. Currents picks up speed, however with “The Moment,” a catchy piece of synth-pop that sounds as if it comes straight out of 1983.
“Yes I’m Changing” serves as the record’s best track, sporting a phenomenal rhythm and outstanding lyrics.
“The Less I Know the Better” is highly reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Currents contains many danceable grooves, as well as R&B influence, such as on “‘Cause I’m a Man,” a notable throwback to ‘80s soul.
“Past Life” is the closest to organic psychedelia that Currents comes. Similarly, “Disciples” features minimal synth compared to the rest of the album.
Frontman Kevin Parker’s vocals are sometimes unable to cope with the record’s musical demands, as evidenced by tracks such as “Eventually” and “Let It Happen.” The real highlight in Currents, however, is the instrumentation. Tight neo-disco grooves lend Currents its fresh new-wave sound.
While at times the synth-heavy passages in Currents seem to lack much musical depth, it nevertheless offers fans a glimpse of the next musical chapter of Tame Impala’s career.