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  • Modular People

I'd never make any claims for Perth's Tame Impala as a totally original proposition—their psych and prog-rock reference points are pretty transparent.

And as much as I dig their swirling, space-rock sound, if you told me you couldn't tell them apart from, say, the Black Angels, I wouldn't be offended (but then, I like them, too).

"Elephant," Tame Impala's new single, taps into the Barrett-era Floyd meets ELP thing they do so well, but this time with deep, purplish synths and a black, sabbathy bass line bleeding through the paisley-patterned guitar squall.

It should come as little surprise that the quartet again tapped Dave Fridmann to produce the follow-up to Innerspeaker. Their melodic fuzz fits his sonic wheelhouse, since he's played with Mercury Rev and produced the Flaming Lips—repeatedly. And I've probably mentioned this before, but he once made me a soundboard tape of a 'Lips show at the Vogue, so he'll always be a personal hero of mine (the opening act: some fussbudgets from Aberdeen named Nirvana).

Modular People releases Lonerism in the US on October 9, 2012. Tame Impala's Fleetwood Mac cover, "That's All for Everyone" (from 1979's Tusk) is also worth a listen. Spin is hosting it here. I burned-out on tribute records in the 1990s, but this one has a few bright spots. Hear Music/Concord releases it on August 14.