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The Kickback – Lonerism

Andrew Gastelum | Thursday, November 21, 2013

There are several definitions of “new music.” For the most part, “new” means the project was just released, as in “it just came out this past Tuesday and I had to refresh my browser at midnight because I couldn’t go to sleep without listening to it.”

“New” is a relative term for radio DJs across the country, as in “check out this new song from J. Cole coming up next.” No sir, “Crooked Smile,” is not new. It’s in fact, far beyond the point of starting to get old. 

But to me this past week, “new” is something that I just discovered. To everyone else, an album that came out in 2012 is not even close to new. A lot of Tame Impala fans have had their latest album on repeat since its release, but for me it might as well be new. I came across it this week, and therefore to me, it’s new.

But man how I’ve missed out. 

I’ve always had a soft spot for the psychedelic/surfer/space rock and this hits the spot. The Australian band, led by do-it-all frontman Kevin Parker, sounds like it’s something straight out of the ’60s with their newest release. It’s Parker who practically recorded the entire album on his own – bass, guitar, vocals, drums, keys.

Think MGMT or Surfer Blood or even the “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” Beatles but stripped down and more chaotic. It just sounds like it belongs on the latest FIFA soundtrack. I’d imagine it’s the music Forrest Gump is partying to for nearly half the movie. 

The sound is pretty out there, I’ll admit. But you can’t really hate it. It’s easy to vibe to or to have on in the background and, if you listen closely, the lyricism isn’t bad either. It’s even hit the mainstream a bit over the past year. The 12-track project was voted as 2012’s Album of the Year by “Rolling Stone” and “NME” among a few others. 

One of the more popular songs is “Elephant,” which has been featured on the hit show “Girls” as well as that Blackberry commercial that plays during ad breaks of football games. It’s pretty different than the rest of the album with a bassline that sounds like it comes from the Black Keys, but nonetheless it has turned into an album favorite. 

My personal favorite from the album is the upbeat, yet melancholy “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?” Simple and fluid, the track is one of the more bare-bone tracks on the album, but transmits a nice vibe with a hypnotizing chorus and a Vampire Weekend-esque back beat. 

A ’60s-sounding album is new? Yeah, to me and hopefully to you when you give it a listen.