Tame Impala’s critically acclaimed new album, Currents, has hit a few rough patches already — namely, the mini-controversy about “‘Cause I’m A Man,” and Kevin Parker’s confusion over a lawsuit about not receiving any royalties for his past work. Today, however, they officially enter “threatening letter over an alleged sample” territory! This is a big day for any rising band — clear proof they’ve made it.
In Currents track “Eventually,” around the 4:52 minute mark, there’s a drum sample that sounds enough like the Skull Snaps song “It’s A New Day” to get Reddit commenters talking. Apparently, Skull Snaps member Samm Culley agrees, to the point where he’s sent a letter to Parker demanding some sort of action. Parker posted an excerpt from Culley’s letter on Instagram, and seems fairly unconcerned about the assertion:
WOW unexpected compliment! The creator of the famous Skull Snaps drum sample thinks my drums IS his actual sample and wants to sue me for not clearing it! Haha!! Sam Culley you have 3 days to fire your musicologist. Anyone think this could be a hoax though?
I try to remain impartial, but “sent from Windows Mail” is funny enough to make it seem like this might be a hoax. If not, Culley maybe needs to upgrade his mail client as well as his musicologist. Listen to the song below and decide for yourself. Given Parker’s long history as a meticulous creator, though, it seems highly unlikely that he’d lift anything from any other musician, especially without getting consent.
The drum break in question is in the intro here:
Which allegedly shows up right around 4:52 in Tame Impala’s song