See Why Tame Impala Is One Of The Most Important Bands Out There

Tame Impala released their most recent album two years ago and they are not currently touring, but they still treated us to a nice if somewhat subdued performance on late night TV the other night, and it was great to be reminded why these guys are on the leading edge of 21st Century Rock.

To be honest I was a little disappointed by their 2015 album Currents, which didn’t quite seem to fulfill the mind-blowing promise of 2012’s Lonerism, the album that established front man and everything man Kevin Parker as one of Rock’s new pioneers. Parker is a great musician, particularly on bass and guitar, and he’s got a natural gift for combining classic Pop/Rock songcraft with a psychedelic flow and feel that sounds unforced and modern and true.

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This performance of “Love/Paranoia” on Fallon is not Tame Impala at their very best, but it’s a fine example not only of their distinctive trippy realism but also of Parker’s innovative instincts. The song’s got three sections. The first and the third sections are pretty standard Rock ballad verses, but the middle part has an unusual structure all its own. As Parker sings of the pain of self-reflection, the section subtly shifts with a couple of new chords plus his guitar joining in, taking the song to a place you didn’t expect. It’s all very skillfully done.

I’m very much looking forward to hearing the collaboration between Parker and British production guru Mark Ronson, another guy with a natural gift for mixing older Rock idioms with contemporary sounds. Over the past couple of years these two say they have collaborated on eight or nine tracks, and it’s blowing my mind just imagining what those tracks might sound like. Apparently we may find out by the end of the year, and I’m willing to bet it is going to be another big, groovy, important record.


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