New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Album: Currents (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • The tracks on Currents all share a common thread of personal advancement. "It's someone finding themselves in this world of chaos," Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker explained to NME. "At different times in life I've felt like it's time to say goodbye from some form of myself that's been hanging around for a while, you just feel this urge to move on, like a herd of antelope. They're just standing there in a field eating grass for however long, and then all of a sudden they start moving. You feel like that as a person sometimes. Where it's just time to move on."

    This is the closing song and its lyrics about making the same old mistakes suggest his metamorphosis should be read with caution. "That's the last chapter," said Kevin Parker. "It's like the final battle – or the final stand-off between optimism and pessimism. You feel like you've evolved into a new person but at the same time you've gone full circle. You feel like this brand-new person but in the end nothing's been changed because you're making the same mistakes."
  • The song was covered by Rihanna for her 2016 ANTI album. Apart from the title being shortened to "Same Ol' Mistakes," the Bajan singer's version is a duplicate in just about every other way. "She was spearheading the whole thing," Kevin Parker told MTV News. "She just wanted to do something with the song. I didn't really know what it was."

    The Australian sent the song's backing track to Rihanna and her production team. Parker didn't get to hear the songstress's reassembled version on ANTI until the release of the album. "It was pretty surreal," he said.
  • When he first came up with the melody, Parker had thought it sounded like American R&B girl group TLC. "That's how a lot of Tame Impala songs start out – as ideas for songs I could potentially give to someone else," he told UK newspaper The Independent. "I think of them with a different persona in mind, it's just a subconscious way of not being bound by what you think you are as an artist."

    "Hearing the Rihanna version, it made me realize that the song finally got the treatment it deserved from the beginning," Parker added. "It went full circle."

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