Tame Impala, the hallucinatory brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker, have traversed the cosmic spectrum of psychedelia, rock, electronica, and more recently R’n’B throughout their kaleidoscopic ventures over the past decade.
Conceived initially in his teenage bedroom, the music of Tame Impala - borne out of Parker’s fascination with astronomy, psychedelia, and intricate production, in which he thoroughly oversees - drew lofty comparisons with The Beatles and The Flaming Lips in 2010 after the release of critically acclaimed debut album Innerspeaker.
Breakthrough sophomore album Lonerism saw the band shifting from their rigidly psychedelic-rock trappings into ever-so-slightly poppier territory yet concurrently retaining their retro affections and expanding their sonic palette. Singles ‘Elephant’ and ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ urged Parker and his boyhood friends into the spotlight, touring the world with major festival appearances worldwide, notably Glastonbury Festival, Sasquatch Festival, and Coachella.
With increasing popularity (including a Grammy Award nomination) often comes a broadening distance with an artist’s former life and a growing sense of isolation. For 2015’s Currents, Parker channelled these sentiments into his oeuvre experimenting with the scope of electronica and drawing in R’n’B influences.
Currents not only transformed Tame Impala into a bonafide global sensation but also confirmed Kevin Parker as one of the most innovative artist-producers in recent history, receiving critical and commercial plaudits alongside unlikely fans in Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, and Rihanna - the latter of which covered ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’. Notable singles ‘Let It Happen’ and ‘Less I Know The Better’ are both trippy and expansive psychedelic tracks filtered through R’n’B production values, exemplifying Tame Impala’s unique hybrid of organic psychedelia and synthy electronica.
Headline performances at Primavera Sound, Flow Festival, We Love Green, and Coachella beckon, so with the promise of new music in 2019 Parker looks to secure Tame Impala’s status in the cosmos.
To remind yourself of Kevin Parker's progression, take a look at Tame Impala's 5 Steps To Headliner Status.