Tame Impala

  • Indie-psychedelic rock band formed in 2007 from Perth Australia. The “band” is a single person – Kevin Parker writes, sings and performs all of the instruments in the recording studio. Parker employs four other musicians for live performances – the current lineup is Parker (guitars, vocals), Jay Watson (bass guitar, backing vocals), Dominic Simper (guitars, keyboards), Julien Barbagallo (drums, backing vocals) and Cam Avery (synthesizers).
  • Parker loved music at an early age, influenced by his father, who played Beatles songs in a cover band. His dad bought him a guitar, and at 11 years old, he learned to play the drums. He began to make multi-track recordings of himself playing multiple instruments, overdubbing guitars, drums and keyboards to create a single song. At the age of 13, he met Simper in school, and they started to play covers of metal music. In his late teens, he discovered psychedelic rock music from the 60s and 70s, which influenced his writing of music.
  • In 2005, he formed a band called the Dee Dee Dums. They entered some talent shows, winning one of them. In late 2007, he changed the name of the band to Tame Impala. He chose the name because he thought it sounded “psychedelic” and because it paid homage to his parents, both of whom were from Africa. Parker uploaded some music to his MySpace account, which got the attention of some record labels. His newer songs evolved from a heavy progressive rock to a psychedelic sound with catchy melody. In 2008, demos of over a dozen songs were sent to record labels, and by July he was signed to an independent record label.
  • Later that year, a self-titled EP was released – six songs that had been recorded at different times from previous years. Three of the songs got airplay in Australia as the band toured in 2008 and 2009 to increase their exposure – first in Australia, and later in the U.S., Europe and Japan. While in the UK in 2009, Sundown Syndrome was recorded, with Parker on all instruments. It became the first single released by Tame Impala, and the following year it was included on the soundtrack for the film The Kids Are All Right. 
  • Tame Impala’s first studio album, Innerspeak, was released in 2010. Critics acclaimed it, especially its sound of 60s psychedelic rock. The album reached #4 in Australia, and it was named Album of the Year by the Australian edition of Rolling Stone magazine. While it was loved by critics and fans, none of the singles managed to chart, even in Australia.
  • Parker’s next album was released in 2012 – Lonerism. It was his first to chart internationally, peaking at #34 in the U.S. and at #14 in the UK. It also was named Album of the Year by Rolling Stone Australia, and it received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Music Album. Two singles charted in the U.S. – Elephant reached #8 on the Alternative Airplay chart and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards peaked at #37 on the same chart.
  • Tame Impala’s 2015 studio album Currents became a best seller, certified platinum in the U.S. It was Grammy nominated, and Rolling Stone included it at #382 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. While still with a psychedelic rock sound, the album put more emphasis on synthesizers, giving it a synthpop sound that appealed to more fans. Songs that charted in the U.S. were Let It Happen (#28 on the Adult Alternative chart) and The Less I Know the Better (#35 on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart).
  • The last song on the album was New Person, Same Old Mistakes. In 2016, Rihanna contacted Parker – she needed one more song for her Anti album, and she wanted to use New Person, Same Old Mistakes. Parker agreed, and Rihanna included it on her album, with the alternate title Same Old Mistakes. This exposure opened doors for Tame Impala to collaborate with many other pop artists, including Kanye West, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson.
  • Tame Impala’s success led the band to headline concerts throughout the world. In 2019, the band was a headline act at Coachella – one of only three headline acts (the others that year…Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino). The exposure at Coachella put Tame Impala in a whole new stratosphere. Given the importance of putting on a memorable show, Parker spent $2.8 million to produce the show. His payday – only $0.5 million, but the long term payout for the band was worth it.
  • Tame Impala performed on Saturday Night Live in March 2019, performing the songs Patience and Borderline. Both songs were released as singles from the group’s 2020 album The Slow Rush. The album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 chart and it topped the Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts. The album earned a third Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album for the band, and the song Lost In Yesterday was nominated for Best Rock Song. Seven songs from the album charted in the top ten of the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart, with Borderline reaching #3 and Breathe Deeper peaking at #2.
  • Looking for modern rock with a 60s/70s feel? Go check out Tame Impala. Here’s a clip from their song Patience from their Coachella concert in 2019 – money well spent! Enjoy.

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