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Tame Impala

The sound of spacy, guitar-heavy psychedelic pop has never really gone out of fashion since the Beatles brought it to the mainstream in the late '60s, with proponents like Pink Floyd and the Flaming Lips managing to make long careers out of mining its every seam. In the 2010s, there is no more popular psych pop group than Australia's Tame Impala. Kevin Parker (vocals/guitar) and Dominic Simper (bass) formed the band as 13-year-olds in Perth in 1999, sticking to bedroom recordings until 2007, when Jay Watson joined them on drums and backing vocals. Their sound was pure late '60s, but wasn't the sound of any specific band from the era. They were as likely to channel the Nazz as the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Cocooned away inside walls of psychedelic fuzz in Western Australia, they re-created their preferred period one song at a time with the aid of gear and production techniques that sounded like they hadn't been dusted off since 1968. Like a lot of the buzz bands of the mid- to late 2000s Tame Impala's story involves MySpace. The social networking website rocketed them from a teenage garage band to the sought-after trophy in a multiple-label bidding war. It started when Modular Records sent them a message after hearing several songs on their MySpace page and asked for more. Tame Impala sent them a demo with 20 songs, which led to requests and offers from everyone under the sun. After consideration, they stuck with the label that had shown first interest, and signed with Modular in 2008. In September of that year they released their first self-titled EP. There was some confusion among reviewers, several of whom referred to the release as "Antares, Mira, Sun" after the notes written on the artwork, a representation of the Orion Nebula drawn by bandleader and songwriter Parker. As well as drawing the art, the perfectionist Parker micromanaged the recording, performing every instrument himself. The EP went to number ten on the ARIA charts and number one on the independent label charts. Though Parker played everything in the studio, live Tame Impala functioned as a real band, though at their early gigs they were famously unprepared and never wore shoes. At one such shambolic gig for a Vice Magazine party in Melbourne, indie electropop band MGMT's label manager caught their act and was impressed enough to offer them the support slot when his band toured Australia. That year they also supported the Black Keys and You Am I on national tours. In 2010, Tame Impala made their full-length debut with the Dave Fridmann-mixed Innerspeaker. Recorded mostly in a remote beach house four hours outside Perth, Parker did almost all the music, this time letting Watson and Simper contribute a little bit. The album was a critical and popular success, gaining the band fans all over the globe, being nominated for many awards in Australia including ARIA Album of the Year and winning the J Album of the Year nod. Shortly after the record's release, Parker returned to his home studio in Perth to begin work on new material, which he began recording while the band was on tour. Along the way he lost half the album when his iPod fell out of his bag, he moved to Paris (where he produced Melody's Echo Chamber's album), and eventually, after a year of mixing with Dave Fridmann, he finished the album. Released in 2012, Lonerism was a less guitar-heavy, far weirder album than Innerspeaker, yet it made an even bigger splash. Tame Impala repeated as winners of the J Award for Album of the Year and topped many year-end polls (including NME), and the record was nominated for Best Alternative Album at the Grammys. All this success made Parker an in-demand collaborator, and Mark Ronson was the biggest name to make a connection, with Parker working on a handful of tracks on Ronson's Uptown Special album. At the same time, Parker and some friends formed the space disco band AAA Aardvark Getdown Services. These were touchstones for the next Tame Impala record, 2015's Currents, which saw their sound expanded to include more uptempo, dance music-informed tracks and some smooth R&B stylings. ~ Jody Macgregor
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Stations Featuring
Tame Impala

    Grammy Awards 2014

    Grammy Awards 2014
    2 songs

    Top Indie

    Top Indie
    5 songs

    Relax Trax

    Relax Trax
    1 song

    Coffeehouse Corner

    Coffeehouse Corner
    1 song

Albums by
Tame Impala

Top Songs by
Tame Impala

  1.   Song
  2.   Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
  3.   Solitude Is Bliss
  4.   Elephant
  5.   Let It Happen
  6.   Lucidity
  7.   It is Not Meant To Be
  8.   Cause I'm a Man
  9.   Eventually
  10.   Alter Ego
  11.   Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?
  12.   Mind Mischief
  13.   The Less I Know the Better
  14.   Apocalypse Dreams
  15.   Disciples
  16.   Desire Be Desire Go
  17.   Backwards
  18.   Beverly Laurel
  19.   Past Life
  20.   That's All for Everyone
  21.   Half Full Glass of Wine
  22.   Remember Me
  23.   Sundown Syndrome
  24.   New Person, Same Old Mistakes
  25.   Yes I'm Changing
  26.   Love/Paranoia
  27.   Be Above It
  28.   Why Won't They Talk to Me?
  29.   Runway, Houses, City, Clouds
  30.   Nangs
  31.   Music to Walk Home By
  32.   Wander
  33.   Expectation
  34.   H.F.G.W
  35.   The Bold Arrow of Time
  36.   Reality in Motion
  37.   The Moment
  38.   The Sun
  39.   Sestri Levante
  40.   Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control
  41.   She Just Won't Believe Me
  42.   I Don't Really Mind
  43.   Keep On Lying
  44.   Skeleton Tiger
  45.   Gossip
  46.   Sun's Coming Up
  47.   Endors Toi
  48.   Canyons Sunrise (Reprise)
  49.   41 Mojitos
  50.   Slide Through My Fingers
  51.   Jeremy's Storm
  52.   41 Mosquitoes Flying in Formation

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