Tame Impala: Lonerism
- There is absolutely nothing conventional about Tame Impala’s highly anticipated sophomore album, Lonerism. Two years since the global success of their debut, Innerspeaker, the three-piece from Perth, Western Australia have produced what may arguably be one of Australia’s best psychedelic rock contributions to date.
Studio mastermind and Tame Impala’s driving force, Kevin Parker, has haphazardly sliced and mixed tracks, ending songs abruptly, and adding intense layers of synths and keyboards with strange melodies. The band incorporates many elements that could be attributed to any number of artists from the 1960s and 70s to achieve an overall sound that is refreshingly unique.
- Parker’s vocals are minimal for at least the first seven minutes of the album as the first two tracks are predominately instrumental. ‘Apocalypse Dreams’ builds up the momentum with a shamelessly poppy opening before the track suddenly cuts off and becomes a mix of psychedelic jam sessions.
Though no track in particular stands out for catchy melodic purposes, the overall body of work that is Lonerism, is testament to the instrumental and production capabilities of Parker. There’s also sense of remoteness and isolation infusing a lot of the band’s sound, a sort of loner identity, which is referred to often in the lyrics.
‘Keep On Lying’ features a recording of people talking at a party, which has been digitally manipulated to create an ambient background noise to the track. Parker has revealed that he recorded many different sounds on his Dictaphone throughout his travels that ended up being included on the album.
‘Elephant’ is another almost-pop song, carried by a solid guitar riff reminiscent of early Tame Impala and sure to become a festival favourite over the Summer. Despite the inherent chaos present in the album, the end result is an effortlessly cohesive and truly psychedelic experience.
- Clare Armstrong.