Members: Kevin Parker
Origin: Perth, Western Australia, AUS
Formed: 1999 – Present
Years Active: 2007 – Present
Kevin Parker, sole sonic architect for Australia’s Tame Impala, styled his band by picking up where the progenitors and disciples of psychedelic music left off. 2010’s InnerSpeaker and 2012’s Lonerism, Tame Impala’s first two albums, display the vibrancy of Psychedelia while employing a lo-fi production style reminiscent of early Rock and Roll, and its gnarlier subgenre, Garage Rock. Although mixed by acclaimed engineer and producer, Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Spoon, MGMT), the albums stay true to their throwback roots even if the sound levels are spiffed up to be on par with current fidelity. 2015’s Currents takes a very different tack, featuring a heavy dose of EDM pulse and R&B groove, the record is presented with a hi-fi production aesthetic. The album has vastly expanded the band’s fanbase with international acclaim and success.
Tame Impala’s origins begin in the late 1990s in Perth, Australia. Founded in 1999 as a collaboration amongst friends, Parker and his childhood cohorts created psychedelic tracks at home that blatantly and proudly wore their influences on their groovy sleeves – hear Nazz, Syd Barrett’s Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, etc. However, in a short time, Parker took near-complete control of the group, routinely playing all the instruments on the recordings but employing his friends to join him as a live performing band.
With the advent of Myspace in the early 2000s, Tame Impala’s music made it to the ears of Australia’s Modular Records label. After Modular expressed interest in the group, a number of labels made inquiries but ultimately Parker signed on with Modular in 2008. Prior to their first full-length release in 2010, Tame Impala played support slots for the Black Keys and MGMT. The band immediately experienced commercial success and critical acclaim upon InnerSpeaker’s release, the album was nominated for Australia’s ARIA Album of the Year and won the J Awards’ Album of the Year. Lonerism similarly received effusive praise from critics and was either nominated or won a variety of awards globally, including a nomination for the GRAMMY Award for Best Alternative Album. During this time, Tame Impala were increasingly playing larger concerts on more extensive tours.
Prior to Currents release in 2015, Parker collaborated with Pop hit-maker producer, Mark Ronson for Ronson’s Uptown Special album. This in turn led to more songwriting and production work for Parker with the likes of Lady Gaga, Yasiin Bey, Mick Jagger, and many others. These creative pursuits are also noted for their influence of Pop, R&B, and EDM stylings on Tame Impala’s evolved sound. Parker referenced the Bee Gees’ 1977 hit song “Stayin’ Alive” as a strong influence on his songwriting and synthesis of styles for Currents. With the album’s vast international success, Tame Impala has established a robust fan base and dominating presence in the music industry. In 2019, Parker released Tame Impala’s first new recordings in many years and prepared his live band for more extensive touring by performing at several music festivals that summer.