Tame Impala’s so-far legacy as a Psychedelic music project


Courtesy of nme.com

Priscilla Ziskin, Entertainment Editor

Kevin Parker, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, has returned with a new album: “The Slow Rush.” Released on Valentine’s Day, the generous gift left listeners not yearning for a date but instead falling in love with the zealous record. 

The artist’s music can be described as resuscitation of 60s and 70s rock along with experimental and pop tunes to distinguish his sound. He is greatly influenced by psychedelia, which experienced a boom in those decades due to admired musicians like Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead. 

According to the New York Times, “he’s announced his desire to work more aggressively toward making tight pop music, the seeming antithesis of the floaty aesthetic he revels in on Tame Impala albums.” This is most likely inspired by collaboration projects with multiple pop artists such as Mark Ronson and Lady Gaga. 

Although he can be seen performing with a band at all times, many do not know he is a one-man project. Parker writes, produces, records and performs all of Tame Impala’s music which explains the timeframe between each album release. His performances consist of Dominic Simper, Jay Watson, Cam Avery and Julien Barbagallo who all contribute to the vocals and instrumental, some to guitar, drums and bass. 

The Australian native received an immense amount of recognition when singer Rihanna covered “Same Ol Mistakes,” featured on her last album “Anti.” It is also seen on his album “Currents” released in 2015. 

His projects at the beginning, “Innerspeaker” (2010) and “Lonerism” (2012), embrace his Australian rock roots by fusing together sick guitar riffs and euphoric melodies. “Currents” and “The Slow Rush” instead contain hard-hitting lyricism with a narrative of the basics: love, heartbreak and becoming one with your true self. 

Parker began creating Tame Impala 13 years ago, where it was discovered in the Perth music scene and known throughout his home country. His tracks were discovered on the infamous social media platform MySpace and were later recognized by record labels. He began performing out of Australia shortly after being signed. 

The distinct separation between his earlier and newer projects shows nothing but growth. Parker’s compelling voice and songwriting skills have only evolved throughout the years and have achieved a global reach. His live sets portray a stellar, laid-back production which leaves fans craving more. 

“When I’m kind of uncomfortable, that’s when I think of melodies. They come to me when I mentally just want to kind of escape, or mentally fill a void,” Parker recently told Esquire. “And I hate being stoned in public, right? I hate finding myself in that situation, it makes me uncomfortable. So when I was recording this album, I intentionally did that. Just to see what happened. Rather than not go outside, I went, OK, I’ll go to the shops or try and do some grocery shopping.”

The Australian singer seems to have a clear thought-process of what he wants to create in his uncomfortable moments, which is quite impressive. He purposely puts himself out of his comfort zone to create, and that is what helped unravel what he is today.