Have Tame Impala Become Australia’s Next Big Thing?
Perth’s purveyors of lo-fi, psychedelic rock, Tame Impala have just released their highly-anticipated sophomore album Lonerism to rave reviews (including Tone Deaf), as well as chart success, but interestingly not just here at home in Australia, but internationally as well.
Here in Australia, Lonerism has debuted at #4 on the ARIA Album Chart (#1 on the ARIA Australian Artists Album Chart), equalling their debut chart position for Innerspeaker in May 2010.
The band’s newest chart feat follows astounding UK critical acclaim for their latest studio effort, including high praise from taste-makers such as NME, The Times, and BBC naming it Album of the Week on BBC’s Radio 1.
The UK public has also shown considerable interest in the warping and consistently fluctuating centre of gravity that is Tame Impala’s sophomore album, as it has debuted at #14 in the UK Official Album Chart as of five new albums to debut in the Top 15 this week.
It also marks Tame Impala as the latest addition to an elite group of Aussie acts who have achieved Top 15 UK Album Chart positions in the last ten years, including Gotye, Crowded House, AC/DC, Kylie Minogue, Jet, Grinderman, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and The Vines.
So what’s the appeal? Well, in The Guardian‘s glowing review of Lonerism, writer Alexis Petridis explains the production of the band’s new album while possibly explaining his country’s immediate interest in their unique take on modern rock, which has a distinct Beatles flavour: ”The drums are usually a fidgety take on the ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ tumble.”
Adding that album track ‘Keep on Lying’ “ends with some mournful organ that sounds exactly like something [keyboardist] Richard Wright might have played on the first Pink Floyd album.” Many have found it hard to deny the influence of The Beatles, and particularly John Lennon, on enigmatic band leader Kevin Parker’s production and songwriting.
While revivalism is something Kevin Parker has spoken out against in terms of influence, when you grow up in the most isolated city in Australia everyone undoubtedly isn’t going to relate to your niche take on rock and roll, yet ironically given its title, Lonerism’s experimental and sometimes krautrock-inspired sound rings true to a much larger set of ears.
International audiences are buzzing not just in the UK, but also in American where the (one-man) band’s newest release has found favour with the US nysuc website Pitchfork, giving the album a rare and generous 9.5 review, while American YouTube sensation PS22 have covered Tame Impala’s newest single ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’.
To capitalise on the band dropping their new album at the beginning of Spring, Tame Impala also has a ruthlessly well-organised tour schedule to promote Lonerism, capitalising on their international interest as well as heightening their chance of breaking into international markets.
The band’s international intake is seemingly overwhelming with the next three months set out with international tour dates, beginning with a promotional tour in October through Europe, then flowing into America in November for a US tour.
The band will then return home and be jumping around Australia throughout December with a five date interstate tour in promotion of Lonerism, beginning on the 6th of December in Melbourne.
The band are also taking advantage of the dense summer festival season, with appearances at various Australian Festivals including their recent additions to the Meredith lineup, Homebake’s 2012 ‘Global Edition‘, and finishing with Pyramid Rock Festival at year’s end. A carefully plotted touring schedule that’s scattered around their own headline tour.
Don’t miss your chance to see the magic live.
Tame Impala December 2012 Tour
Thursday, December 6 – The Forum, Melbourne
Tuesday, December 11 – HQ, Adelaide
Wednesday, December 12 – The Tivoli, Brisbane
Friday, December 14 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Saturday, December 15 – Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
Whether it’s due to the will to take a new direction, a feud with their band, or just having too many songs and not enough time; many musicians have decided to indulge themselves in side-projects. Not to be confused with an artist going solo, or the formation of a supergroup, a side-project can be seen as a separate endeavor undertaken by someone already known for their involvement with another band. With artists ranging from Paul McCartney, Gotye, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alex Turner, we go through some of the more interesting ventures from music’s best acts, with some even outshining their day jobs… Watch this slideshow »