In exchange for their sometimes fickle loyalty, music fans of every background expect an unreasonable level of appeasement from performers. Demands include personal relatablity, a constant flow of tunes, selfless humility, and to be generally well received but not “too popular”. The music community does not necessarily expect longevity.
Even the most obscure and unorthodox genres get their time in the spotlight before receding back into previously held supporting roles; the artists that operate in and dominate these roles must too come and go. At the moment, the genre known as Future is being called to the stage; a delicate balancing act between gaining traction among the majority while keeping its compelling novelty ensues. Overall, Future has encountered relatively nonexistent pushback from the established main characters, who seem content to continue recycling the decades-old blueprints to success in their respective fields.
By redefining what can even be described as instruments, artists are incorporating 8-bit video game tunes, flipping ringtones, adding bizarre ambient noises, and continuing to blur the understanding of what we define as aesthetics. Producers of the modern day get away with this level of provocation because aesthetics as an idea is amorphous. Factors like exposure, maturity, and setting can lead to a harsh sounding guitar solo today being reinterpreted as a masterpiece tomorrow.
Under this fluid theory, every music fan can point back in time to a specific album or artist that gave them a different outlook on music as a whole. Whether it be the immortal first album of Kanye West, the discovery of Grizzly Bear’s folksy Veckatimest, danceable mashups by Girl Talk, Toro y Moi’s funky Anything in Return, Kid Cudi’s hijacking of the hip-hop scene, or the first time Skrillex blasted through the speakers at a party, passing through phases of music is a part of self-discovery that is both identifiable and incomparable. For a year – or perhaps a few years – listeners will continually recalibrate their ever-changing but never dying love of sound until said aficionados revert back to their audial comfort zone. This week, Perth’s pride and joy Tame Impala, the brainchild of Kevin Parker, has brought the majority back home to that comfort zone with its third release, Currents.