Ahead of the fifth anniversary of Currents, Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker has opened up about the influence of Mark Ronson during the record’s creation.
Although Parker has always been a solitary figure in the world of music, and the sole constant throughout the history of Tame Impala, it was around 2015 that the acclaimed artist began to open his world up somewhat and begin collaborating with outside musicians somewhat.
While he’d worked with the likes of The Flaming Lips and Kendrick Lamar beforehand, 2015 brought with it the release of Uptown Special, the fourth album from producer Mark Ronson. In addition to appearing on tracks such as “Summer Breaking” and “Leaving Los Feliz”, Parker also boasted a feature on the record’s second single, “Daffodils”.
Just a matter of months after Uptown Special was released, Tame Impala unleashed Currents, an album that had been in the works since 2012’s Lonerism. However, in a new interview with NME, Parker has explained just how working with Mark Ronson allowed him to realise and solidify his vision of Tame Impala.
“Mark’s a big reason why I had the confidence to do what I did with Currents,” Parker explained to the publication. “He showed me how pop music could have such a craft to it.
“Whenever I’m recording with lots of people, like we did on Uptown Special, it makes me think about how solitary my process is. It puts into perspective just how alone I am when I’m working.
“It’s such a deep, dark well making a Tame album. I love doing that, but it makes me realise that Tame Impala will never be that communal experience.”
This follows from comments that Kevin Parker made to triple j alongside the record’s release in 2015, in which he told Zan Rowe that working with Ronson was “pretty inspiring stuff”.
“Anything you can do that’s outside your comfort zone, it doesn’t even have to be musical – it really gives you perspective on ‘How it is that you do it? How is that different? How can things be different?’ which is invaluable,” he explained. “Especially with Mark.”
Upon its release in 2015, Currents received almost unanimous critical praise, with the record topping the ARIA charts, receiving both the Best Rock Album and Album of the Year awards at that year’s ARIAs, and even being nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys.
Most recently, “The Less I Know the Better” was voted by triple j listener’s as their favourite song of the previous decade.