Two years after the release of their third and most strikingly innovative studio album, Currents, Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker has put together three new songs and two remixes of previously recorded songs in the band’s latest EP. The Australian psych-rock group’s front man wrote and recorded the majority of the recently released project, most of which sounds as synth-heavy as its predecessor. That being said, lyrically and structurally speaking Parker’s new songs are a noticeable notch below the level of craftsmanship found in Currents—a perfect archetype of what B-sides are meant to sound like.
The EP’s opening track, “Lists of People (To Try And Forget About),” features Parker reaching to the depths of his vocal range in a much more melancholic tone to pair with the rollover theme of Currents of breakup and isolation. Initially recorded in 2012, the song feels stuck in a tug-of-war sounding limbo between the band’s second album, Lonerism, and Currents—a guinea pig used to tap into the creativity that ultimately resulted in Currents.
The EP continues with a hauntingly lethargic series of pulsing synth and bass loops in the second track, “Powerlines.” The official Tame Impala twitter account recently tweeted an earlier version of the song with Parker layering seemingly simple loops into a grippingly beautiful mesh of sound as he films himself fooling around in his living room.
The EP ends with remixes of two previously recorded songs—”Reality in Motion” and “Let it Happen”—both of which are heavily instrumental and feel a bit over-produced (as is the case with most remixes). Ultimately, the final tracks offer playful alternatives and elongated riffs to already perfected songs released in 2015—a helpful reminder of the genius behind Parker’s ability to balance the psychedelic and rock aspects of his songs into a cocktail of sound that is unmatched by most current rock bands.