Let It Happen (song)

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"Let It Happen"
Tame Impala - Let It Happen cover art.jpg
Single by Tame Impala
from the album Currents
Released10 March 2015 (2015-03-10)
StudioKevin Parker's home studio (Fremantle, Western Australia)
Genre
Length
  • 7:46 (album version)
  • 4:16 (radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)Kevin Parker
Producer(s)Kevin Parker
Tame Impala singles chronology
"Mind Mischief"
(2013)
"Let It Happen"
(2015)
"'Cause I'm a Man"
(2015)
Music video
"Let It Happen" on YouTube

"Let It Happen" is a song by the Australian rock band Tame Impala. It was released as the lead single from their third studio album, Currents (2015), on 10 March 2015. The song centers on accepting personal transition, and was worked on in various locations around the world. The song runs at nearly eight minutes long, and its second half contains a section of the song repeating akin to a scratched Compact Disc, and stripped-down lyrics consisting of gibberish. It also has vocoded-like vocals in the second half, which were actually manipulated with a keyboard sampler.

The song received acclaim from music critics. It peaked at number 29 on the Belgian Flanders singles chart, number 84 on the ARIA Singles Chart and number 152 on the French Singles Chart. In the United States, the song charted at number 28 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Songs chart. "Let It Happen" appeared on many critics' year-end lists of the best songs of 2015. A music video for the song was uploaded on 17 August 2015 to the group's Vevo channel on YouTube.

Background[edit]

"Let It Happen" is about "finding yourself always in this world of chaos and all this stuff going on around you and always shutting it out because you don't want to be part of it. But at some point, you realize it takes more energy to shut it out than it does to let it happen and be a part of 'it'."[1] The theme of Currents is personal transition, and "Let It Happen" was sequenced as the album's opening song to exemplify acceptance.[2]

Parker detailed the song's globetrotting development in an interview with Under the Radar in 2015:

I think most of that song was put together at different times, when I was on tour, actually. I remember it came to me, I think I was walking to my hotel room in Oklahoma. And then the chorus, I was at a festival in Hungary or Turkey. And then the midsection, the jam bit, I was on a train. That's a bit looping and a weird repetitive thing going on, and I had my laptop on a train in France, going to Toulouse. I think with that song, one thing led to another. I was just jamming by myself in the way I do, and I put it on a loop to see what sounds cool. I just see where it takes me.[3]

Composition[edit]

"Let It Happen" is a psychedelic pop, disco[4][5] and synth-pop[6] song. At one point, the song begins to skip, reminiscent of a skipping compact disc. Producer Kevin Parker included this as an extension of his fascination with glitches in playback.[7] Nearing the song's conclusion, Parker begins singing wordless melodies through a keyboard sampler. He intended to write lyrics for the section, which he dubbed the "speaking in tongues version", but found that it lacked the "groove" of its original incarnation. In keeping with the song's title and subject matter, he left the gibberish in the final track.[3]

Release and remixes[edit]

"Let It Happen" premiered on 10 March 2015 as a free digital download from the band's website. Tame Impala first shared the track on their Facebook page, writing, "NEW SONG. Track 1."[8] It was the first song released from Currents, and was intended to kick off a promotional cycle concluding with the release of the album and the band's Coachella appearance in May, but the record was subsequently delayed until July.[9]

A remix of the song by electronic rock group Soulwax premiered on Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show on 8 September 2015.[10] The song was also covered by Australian metalcore band Northlane, on the deluxe version of their album Node.

Music video[edit]

The official music video for the song, lasting four minutes and seventeen seconds, was uploaded on 17 August 2015 to the group's Vevo channel on YouTube.[11] Stereogum summed up the video, stating that the video's protagonist (Michael Instone) "blurs the line between nervous breakdown, medical crisis, and hallucination, most memorably when he finds himself strapped to an airplane seat falling through the sky." It was directed by David Wilson.[12] The music video was shot in Kyiv, Ukraine (Boryspil International Airport and Hilton Kyiv).[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Upon its release, the song received critical acclaim. Pitchfork reviewer Ian Cohen awarded it the site's "Best New Track" designation, writing that the song "seems to be editing itself in real time with all manner of filters, manipulated vocals, swirling ambience, and a startling midsection where he mashes down the looper button and holds it. He's an expert at conveying the unexpected joy of beginner's luck behind the boards."[14] Michelle Geslani of Consequence of Sound similarly praised the song's second section, commenting, "The song's second half proves especially inspiring, as it features a full-on wicked, synth-y jam session and magical vocoder harmonies."[15]

Accolades[edit]

"Let It Happen" appeared on many critics' year-end lists of the best songs of 2015. Consequence of Sound ranked the song second-best of the year,[16] calling it a "grand statement", "meticulously arranged", and "one of the boldest album openers of the year".[17] The publication also said, "It's the best song [Parker's] ever written from the best album he's ever made."[16] Pitchfork placed the song fifth on its year-end list, calling it a "highly intimate, interior experience" that "isn't so much psych rock as psyche rock—the sort of insta-jam that feels like it's being broadcast to you via telepathy rather than a stadium PA."[18] Spin ranked the song seventh on the magazine's list of the year's best songs, calling it "the Discovery of psych-rock, eight minutes of steady vamping that coalesce into an ideal synthesis of Tame Impala's gentle, kaleidoscopic powers and big-tent EDM's ability to physically command."[19] The Fader ranked the song seventh-best, calling it "a jittery, stretched-out, immaculately produced sound bath that washes over the listener, beckoning them to submerge in the madness of feeling feels".[20] Time ranked it seventh-best as well, describing it as "mov[ing] through all the states of matter: lava-lamp keyboards give way to gaseous soundscapes, robot voices depose into fuzzy guitar riffs, and stuttering sound effects briefly make you think your speakers are having a meltdown."[21]

Paste placed it ninth on their year-end song rankings, calling it the album's "thesis statement" and saying, "The song's multiple movements swell and bloom into the cosmic psych-rock that Tame Impala so cleverly wielded on Innerspeaker and Lonerism, but there's a new dimension added this time around".[22] Popmatters ranked it eleventh-best of the year, calling it "both the album's overture and its thematic peak" while praising it for "hit[ting] a pinnacle for a contemporary indie pop more indebted to classic disco records than Pavement or the Pixies".[23] Rolling Stone ranked "Let It Happen" at number 17 on its year-end list of the 50 best songs of 2015.[24] The Village Voice named "Let It Happen" the 14th-best single released in 2015 on their annual year-end critics' poll, Pazz & Jop.[25] Noisey named the song the 25th-best of the year, calling it "a near eight-minute tortured wail—as defiant as it is fearful" and "a remarkable, hallucinatory exercise as comfortable in a sprawling cosmic DJ set as it is a dorm room bong sesh."[26]

At the 2015 ARIA Music Awards, "Let It Happen" was nominated for Best Pop Release.[27] Along with "The Less I Know the Better", the song was one of two from Tame Impala's Currents to reach the top five in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2015, coming in at #5.

"Let It Happen" appeared on several critics' end-of-decade lists of the best songs. Pitchfork ranked it the 47th-best song of the 2010s, with contributor Noah Yoo commenting, "with this heavy slab of space disco, Parker decidedly broke free of any preconceived notions about his abilities".[28] Stereogum's Pranav Trewn ranked it 35th best, describing it as Parker's way of "fashioning EDM as high art".[29] It was ranked at the same spot on NME's similar list.[30]

Appearances in media[edit]

In September 2018, an edited version of the song appeared in a Ford Motor Company television advertisement for their 2019 car lineup.[31]

Track listing[edit]

Download single
No.TitleLength
1."Let It Happen"7:46

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[40] Platinum 70,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] Silver 200,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[42] Gold 500,000*

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format
Worldwide 11 March 2015 Modular Digital download

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Calvert (14 July 2015). "Tame Impala Interview: Inside The Mind Of A Psych-Pop Shaman". NME. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  2. ^ Kyle McGovern (17 July 2015). "The Moment Has Arrived for Tame Impala". Spin. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Matt Fink (April 2015). "Tame Impala: The Ocean Inside". Under the Radar (Digital Edition) (53). pp. 103–105. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  4. ^ Denney, Alex (1 July 2015). "Tame Impala - 'Currents'". NME. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  5. ^ Spanos, Brittany (16 December 2015). "Readers' Poll: The 10 Best Songs of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  6. ^ Senior, Nicolas (29 December 2015). "Top 10 Electronic Albums of 2015". New Noise Magazine. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
  7. ^ Pat Healy (14 July 2015). "Tame Impala: Swimming With the Currents". Paste. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  8. ^ "Tame Impala: listen to their new track Let It Happen". The Guardian. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  9. ^ Chris DeVille (1 July 2015). "Yes I'm Changing: The Bold Metamorphosis Of Tame Impala's Currents". Stereogum. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  10. ^ Camp, Zoe (8 September 2015). "Soulwax Remix Tame Impala's "Let It Happen"". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Tame Impala - Let It Happen". YouTube. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  12. ^ DeVille, Chris (17 August 2015). "Tame Impala - "Let It Happen" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Tame Impala shot music video in Kyiv". 18 August 2015.
  14. ^ Cohen, Ian (11 March 2015). "Tame Impala: "Let It Happen"". Pitchfork. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  15. ^ Geslani, Michelle (10 March 2015). "Tame Impala premieres epic new single "Let It Happen" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  16. ^ a b Cosores, Philip (30 November 2015). "Top 50 Songs of 2015". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  17. ^ Gwee, Karen (2 December 2015). "Top 50 Albums of 2015". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  18. ^ Berman, Stuart (14 December 2015). "The 100 Best Tracks of 2015". Pitchfork Media. Condé Nast. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  19. ^ Tolentino, Jia (30 November 2015). "The 101 Best Songs of 2015". Spin. SpinMedia. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  20. ^ Dyer, Deidre (8 December 2015). "The 107 Best Songs of 2015". The Fader. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  21. ^ Feeney, Nolan (1 December 2015). "Top 10 Best Songs". Time. Time Inc. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  22. ^ Danaher, Michael (2 December 2015). "The 50 Best Songs of 2015". Paste. Wolfgang's Vault. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  23. ^ Fitzgerald, Colin (4 December 2015). "The 90 Best Songs of 2015". Popmatters. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  24. ^ "Tame Impala, 'Let It Happen' – 50 Best Songs of 2015". Rolling Stone. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  25. ^ "Pazz & Jop Statistics". The Village Voice. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  26. ^ Harrison, Angus. "The 50 Best Songs of 2015". Noisey. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  27. ^ "Aria Awards 2015: Queensland artists take out Song of Year and Best Pop Release". News.com.au. News Corp Australia. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  28. ^ Yoo, Noah (7 October 2019). "The 200 Best Songs of the 2010s". Pitchfork. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  29. ^ Trewn, Pranav (5 November 2019). "The 200 Best Songs Of The 2010s". Stereogum. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  30. ^ "The Best Songs Of The Decade: The 2010s". NME. 4 December 2019. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  31. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0UgZLlzR14
  32. ^ Ryan, Gavin (21 March 2015). "ARIA Singles: Lunchmoney Lewis Has The Number 1 Song". Noise11. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  33. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tame Impala – Let It Happen" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tame Impala – Let It Happen" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Lescharts.com – Tame Impala – Let It Happen" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  36. ^ "Tame Impala Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  37. ^ "Tame Impala Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 2016". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  39. ^ "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  40. ^ "ARIA Accreditations 2020". ARIA. January 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Tame Impala – Let It Happen". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 August 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Let It Happen in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  42. ^ "American single certifications – Tame Impala – Let It Happen". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 May 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]