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Music / Tame Impala

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I wanted her, I wanted her, but she doesn't like the life that I lead... L-R 

"Somebody grabbed his collar
He cried the whole way home
Nobody remembered a thing when they saw him again
That's how it is 'til the end"
— "Elephant"

Tame Impala are a five-piece Psychedelic Rock band from Perth, Western Australia. Originally beginning as Kevin Parker's solo recording project in 2007, Tame Impala signed a deal with Modular Records, with the band now adding Dominic Simper (then) on bass and Jay Watson (then) on drums. The group then expanded, including Nick Allbrook on bass (Simper started playing guitar post-2009) and Julien Barbagallo on drums (Watson started playing synth in 2011). In 2013, Nick Allbrook left the band to pursuit personal endeavours, and was replaced by Cam Avery of Pond.

The release of their first EP helped them build up credibility amongst the Perth music scene, but their 2010 debut album Innerspeaker and the 2012 followup Lonerism helped cement a global reputation and fanbase; some even going as far as proclaiming them as currently the best band in the world. From 2009 onwards, their works have been consistently nominated for awards and helped expose Perth's psychedelic scene to the world. Tame Impala, however, remains the most well-known band of the scene by volumes.

After Parker's perfectionism had the album delayed by two months, the group's next album, Currents, was released on July 17, 2015, to a critical acclaim. The electronica-influenced album received a 9.3/10 from Pitchfork, with reviewer Ian Cohen comparing it to Loveless, Kid A, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in terms of musical creativity. Fans were initially more divided, but as time went on the album began to receive more praise. Commercially, Currents quickly became Tame Impala's most successful album by far, debuting at number 1 in Australia, number 3 in the UK and number 4 in the US.


  • Innerspeaker (2010)
  • Lonerism (2012)
  • Currents (2015)
  • The Slow Rush (2020)

The Less I Trope the Better:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: "The Less I Know The Better" mixes this with a little bit of Love Martyr; in it, Kevin sings about his love for a girl who is already taken by a guy called Trevor but nonetheless plays with his mind and gives him hope that they could be together. Kevin does make an attempt to get over her, but he ends up back at square one when he sees her once again.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • Innerspeaker: 'It Isn't Meant To Be', 'Jeremy's Storm', 'Expectation', 'Runway, Houses, City, Clouds'
    • Lonerism: 'Apocalypse Dreams', 'Music To Walk Home By', 'Keep On Lying', 'Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control', 'Sun's Coming Up'
    • Currents: 'Let It Happen', especially with the instrumental section that starts with what sounds like the track skipping.
    • The Slow Rush: 'Posthumous Forgiveness', 'Breathe Deeper', 'One More Hour'
  • Gratuitous French: 'Endors Toi'. Lonerism was recorded in Paris, after all.
  • Grief Song: "Posthumous Forgiveness", which is about the death of Kevin's father.
  • Hope Spot: 'Mind Mischief':
    She remembers my name
    Could be blown way out
    It's all going to change
    She remembers my name
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: The song "Yes I'm Changing" is about Kevin Parker's breakup with Melody Prochet. He feels that he's becoming a different person as a result of his breakup:
    Yes, I'm changing, can't stop it now
    And even if I wanted, I wouldn't know how
    Another version of myself I think I've found at last
  • I Am the Band: All instruments are recorded by Kevin Parker (apart from keyboard or drum work from Jay Watson on very rare occasions), the other members are touring members.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: 'Why Won't They Talk To Me?'
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: ''Cause I'm A Man' is often interpreted as this, though Kevin stated that it is "meant to be more interpreted more like 'I'm a man' as in 'I'm a human.'".
  • Longest Song Goes Last: The Slow Rush closes with "One More Hour", which is 7 minutes and 12 seconds long.
  • Memory Trigger: The song "Past Life":
    I was picking up a suit from the dry cleaners
    Which is standard for me, Thursday, 12:30
    I've got a pretty solid routine these days
    I don't know, it just works for me
    Anyway, I was leaving, I was getting in my car
    And I went to adjust the rear-view mirror
    But, in its reflection, just for a second
    I saw a figure, started to trigger
    Memories flooded back, stopped me in my tracks
    Who was that? It was my lover
    A lover from a past life
  • Miniscule Rocking: 'She Just Won't Believe Me' is just 57 seconds.
  • New Sound Album: Although only four albums have been released so far, this trope does come into play. Innerspeaker was reminiscent of 60's psychadelica and is the more rock-driven album, Lonerism featured a psych-pop sound, and Currents borrowed from dance, electronica and disco.
  • One-Word Title: Many. Some examples are:
    • Innerspeaker
    • Lonerism
    • "Elephant"
    • "Borderline"
    • "Eventually"
    • "Lucidity"
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: Kevin preferred to perform barefoot until 2018, when he began walking to the front of the stage during performances and "had a bit of a scare" that convinced him to start wearing shoes.
  • Rearrange the Song: The album version of "Borderline" differs significantly from the original version, which was released as a standalone single. Differences include a shorter running time, minor changes in the lyrics, extra backing vocals in the third verse and chorus, and changes to the bass and snare drum. Kevin stated that he was rushed into releasing the original version of the song and that the album version was recorded as he intended it to be heard.
  • Record Producer: Kevin is an example of the DIY Producer, producing, writing, and recording all of Tame Impala's material by himself.
  • Relationship Labeling Problems: The song "Past Life" is about a man remembering an old, distant flame who never quite made it clear how she felt about him:
    I saw a figure, started to trigger
    Memories flooded back, stopped in my tracks
    Who was that? It was my lover
    A lover from a past life
    Well, somewhere between a lover and a friend
    It was different back then
    Surreal, poetic but uncertain
  • Repetitive Audio Glitch: Deliberately invoked in "Let It Happen", where the music is stuck in a repetitive glitch and a new melody is played on top of it; according to Kevin, it was born out of his fascination with glitches in music playback systems (as well as a desire to trick people into thinking the song is skipping unintentionally).
  • Retro Universe: Primarily for the The '60s and (to a lesser extent) The '70s.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: The Wiggles covered "Elephant" in 2021.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Well, he feels like an elephant, shaking is big grey trunk for the hell of it...
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Glimmer" opens with a sample from the Recording Studio Rockstars podcast, where one of the hosts talks about the tendency for amateur producers to turn the bass up when mixing.
    • "Past Life" features a monologue from Kevin, with his vocals pitched down, detailing him picking up his dry cleaning when, in the rear-view mirror of his car, he sees the figure of a former lover.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Slightly implied with 'Mind Mischief'
  • Status Quo Is God: 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards'
  • Survival Mantra: 'Be Above It' has "Gotta be above it" repeated throughout the whole song.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes:
    • The bridge in 'Why Won't They Talk To Me?' states that the guy featured in the song regarded his friends as vain and didn't bother listening to any of them. He's still sad about being alone.
    • Also stated in 'Elephant'.
  • Third Wheel: "The Less I Know The Better", mixed with Jealous Romantic Witness.
  • This Loser Is You: Very common element of their lyrics.
  • Title-Only Chorus: 'Why Won't They Talk To Me?'
  • Vocal Evolution: In a matter of two years: listening to Innerspeaker after listening to "Half Full Glass Of Wine" can be a bit weird.
    • His vocal evolution continued after Innerspeaker; his vocals on the first two albums were frequently compared by the media to those of John Lennon: by the time Kevin recorded Currents, Kevin developed his own, distinct singing style, also utilizing his falsetto range more frequently.