Artist of the Week: Tame Impala


Heavy, fuzzy, psychedelic guitar rock can come from the darndest places. Whether it be the mighty Led Zeppelin, who defined the genre, to Black Sabbath, who obliterated it. Now, there’s a new band that can play a similar role, albeit 40 years later. They hail from Perth, Australia and are called Tame Impala.

As we’ve highlighted in our review of their fantastic new album, Lonerism, and their much hyped and strongly delivered live show at the El Rey in Los Angeles, this band knows how to rock. Not just in the way the genre is defined in 2012, but RAWK, as in an old school, ‘70s kind of way. As the brainchild of Kevin Parker, the group formed in the middle of the last decade, but only came to prominence in 2010, with their recent album being their breakthrough into the hearts and minds of listeners across the globe.

The beginnings of the band spawned from Parker’s previous project, the Dee Dee Dums. That band had moderate success, placing second in Ampfest, and after multiple member changes, with the only constant being Parker, the band decided to call themselves Tame Impala. If you think that this is an ode to the Chevy model of the same name, well, you’re wrong. Impala in this case refers to a medium sized antelope.

From there, the band released its self-titled debut EP in 2008, which won them accolades in Australia, and eventually hitting number 1 on the Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) Chart and number 10 on the ARIA Physical Singles Chart on the strength of “Desire Be, Desire Go”, “Half Full Glass of Wine” and “Skeleton Tiger,” all of which received national radio airplay on the Triple J radio network.

Building on the success of their EP, the band journeyed to London to record their first full-length, Innerspeaker. Needless to say, that momentum was sustained and Tame Impala saw their songs begin to be licensed on film and TV, which in today’s climate, is a true sign of progress. In addition to landing spots on films like The Kids Are Alright and HBO’s Entourage, the band was on the lineup for Australia’s major music festival, Big Day Out, alongside the likes of Muse, The Mars Volta, Kasabian and many more. If that weren’t enough, Triple J’s bestowed upon them their highest honor: the J Award for Album of the Year

Fast forward to 2012. Lonerism is released in October and the band plays an acclaimed set at Outside Lands, which opened many eyes and showed the international hype was justified. There’s not much left to say except that these guys kick some serious ass. If Parker and company keep growing at the speed they are, then who knows, they could be at the forefront of the re-emergence of true rock music.