Oh boy. Who are we kidding. You know all of this. You also know that whether you’re listening to an album, or watching a live show, Tame Impala is an experience that is completely mindblowing, filled with simplistic beauty and boundless creativity.
The Tame Impala sound is one equally informed by The Beatles as it is beat poetry, by Turkish prog as it is by Turkish Delight, and by English folk as much as homeless folk. Basically, it’s all about the feeling.
It was the release of Innerspeaker (2010) that made the globe stand up and take notice of the boys from Perth. It was thanks in part to its irreverent, contemporary spin on assumedly dead and forgotten sounds, as well as its unique, infinitely surprising way around a melody. The album, recorded and produced entirely by Kevin at what is essentially a treehouse with 180 degree views of the Indian Ocean, a few hours South West of Perth. With Flaming Lips’ Dave Fridmann on mixing duties and Death in Vegas’ Tim Holmes at the engineering wheel, the album achieved the “absolutely explosive” sound that Parker was aiming to reach.
As each single rolled out from “Solitude is Bliss” to “Lucidity” to “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind”, the world had gone from standing up and taking notice to jumping up and down with arms flailing madly. Tours were organized, festival offers came through thick and fast, Jimmy Fallon called, and the world got to see, instead of just hear, what it was all about.
After the Innerspeaker whirlwind, the boys came up for air for a bit. Not long after this, Kevin went into the creative wormhole and started getting the ideas for album number two from his brain and onto his trusty home recording set up. Thankfully a portable set up, the album was recorded around the globe, most prominently in Perth and Paris. Again, mixed by Dave Fridmann, the end result was Lonerism, gifted to the incredibly eager world in October 2012.
In Kevin’s own words, Lonerism incorporates “an expanded sonic palette, more emotional song writing, and a more pronounced narrative perspective." The songwriting is as joyously screwy as ever. Songs swerve when you expect them to duck, and turn themselves instead out when you expect them to straighten out, there’s so many melodic curveballs, it’s marvellously dizzying. It’s lyrically sweet and casual, it’s relaxed but deadly serious at times, and best of all, deeply amorous.
“Be Above It” applies a cleansing pressure hose to the brain, and “Endors Toi” plunges you into a deep sleep of ripping guitar riff dreams. “Music To Walk Home By” is as it says on the tin, announcing its arrival at the front gate with the kind of ceremonious, shredding guitar riff that makes home seem like a good place to be. “Keep On Lying” intentionally drifts in and out as if in the middle of a wandering jam at the end of the earth, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” is as close as Tame Impala will ever come to a top down cruising anthem, albeit one from a cracked reality and soaked in a deep, solo melancholy. “Elephant” doesn’t hide it’s rollicking, outerspace glam strut, while “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control” arguably boils the essence of the album into a dense, ecstatic brew of utopian proportions.
So excited was the globe for Lonerism that the outcome was a phenomenal sold out world tour at the end of 2012. If we pull out the calculator – that’s 29 cities, 33 dates and over 45,000 punters soaking up the mindblowing bliss that is a Tame Impala show. And that’s not including festivals!
So in demand are these dudes, that yet another world tour is kicking off in February, with the majority of the huge string of dates already sold out.
Lonerism has received worldwide praise and endorsements from fellow artists and celebs, and has garnered all star ratings from industry and tastemakers, including perhaps the most heartmelting accolade of them all, the adorable kids of PS22 covering “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”.
Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times. Clearly, we’ll be continuing on this wild journey for some time.
• #1 NME Album of the Year (UK)
• #1 Triple J Album of the Year (Aus)
• #1 Filter Magazine Top 10 Albums of 2012 (USA)
• #1 Rolling Stone Album of the Year (Aus)
• #6 in The Guardian’s 2012 Album Poll (UK)
• #11 Uncut's Albums of the Year (UK)
• #11 Stereogum's 50 Best Albums of the Year (USA)
• #12 MOJO's Album list (UK)
• #26 Spin Magazine 50 Best Albums of 2012 (USA)
• #7 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 – “Elephant”
• #9 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”