Tame Impala make hypno-groove melodic rock music. It's intended for moving one's body to or for keeping still and observing other forms of movement.
Tame Impala are riding the thin line between analog retro rock in the trails of Cream, Leaf Hound or Jefferson Airplane and the voluptiously melodic innocence of the Beatles around 1966 – and they ride it as gracefully as Mick Fanning rides a 20-footer!
On their website, they describe their soundwave as “crusty, bombastic but swirling – think of the shoulder blades of a giant feline creature striding through some kind of tunnel.” As Lodown magazine called it, it is “the sort of music you can joyfully disappear into.”
The psychedelic rock trio from Perth unveiled their debut album, InnerSpeaker, out on Modular Recordings, in May 2010, showcasing the gloriously dazzling results of one of the planet's most exciting bands redrafting their music into an explosive cosmic wonderland of ecstatic harmony and perfectly accessible journeys into inner space.
In the summer of 2009, Tame Impala left their hometown on the Australian West Coast and decamped three hours south to a rugged patch of wilderness out of Margaret River called Injidup. It was here, on a plot of land with a history rich in local folklore, in a labyrinth-like structure that resembles something between a treehouse, a shed and a castle, that Tame Impala lived and recorded for two months.
The control room was set up with 180° views overlooking the expansive Indian Ocean. Parts were recorded all over the house, and with a ticket to ride down the highway of their own imaginations, Tame Impala set about making one hell of a mindboggling trip of a record.
“It was totally isolated and right next to a beach,” enthuses bassist Dom Simper. “There was no internet, no phone reception, no TVs. Hopefully the album will reflect the environment it was created in, and you’ll be able to hear that it was made in such a beautiful place.”
The results of Tame Impala’s geographical, mental and emotional trip down to Injidup was then mixed in a completely different kind of nowhere, a log cabin surrounded by snow and deer in upstate New York, by singer and lead guitarist Kevin Parker and renowned sonic maverick Dave Fridmann (MGMT / The Flaming Lips).
Asked if they’d rather have lived at the end of the 60s, drummer Jay Watson says: “I don’t think I would have liked to have lived then as opposed to now. I think it’s a great privilege to live on post-2000 Earth. I couldn’t imagine living then and not knowing the music we have today was going to exist. I think a lot of what people did back then and the kind of music they made was largely out of a sense of duty, where as now it’s more of a choice thing.”
Listen here as the group takes you on a journey through their Headphone Highlights on Red Bull Music Academy Radio, playing both influences as well as original material.
Oh No Ono - Helplessly Young - The Leaf Label
Caribou - Kaili - City Slang
Mark Ronson - Lose It (In The End) - Columbia
My Bee's Garden - The Noise It Makes - Kitchen Music
Dungen - Marken Låg Stilla - Subliminal Sounds
Led Zeppelin - Out On The Tiles - Atlantic
Black Sabbath - Paranoid - Sanctuary Records
Neon Indian - Dead Beat Summer - Static Tongues
Wavves - California Goths - Bella Union
Can - Oh Yeah - Spoon
Kraftwerk - Autobahn - Philips
AC/DC - Jailbreak - Atlantic
The Knife - Heartbeat - Sony
Tame Impala - Runway Houses, City, Clouds - Modular Recordings