The late 60s is my favorite era of music so I try to keep tabs on anything psychedelic. Perth, Australia’s Tame Impala fits that category quite nicely. Led by singer/songwriter Kevin Parker, Lonerism is the band’s unrestrained sophomore release. I use the term “band” lightly as Parker appears to do most to all of the songwriting, instrumentation, and production by himself. Naturally, it reminds me a great deal of one of my favorite modern psychedelic band’s Dungen, except less Swedish. Like Tame Imapala, Dungen also follows the mold of one guy writing and recording all the music and then touring with a full band. The results are sometimes stunning, sometimes confusing, but always engrossing.
On first listen I had trouble distinguishing any kind of discernible melodies or song structure. That overwhelming nature of psychedelic music can often be a hurdle, but I’ve appreciated this album the more and more I listen to it. The amount of instruments and level of production is staggering. Hard to believe it’s all the product of one man’s imagination. I’m not sure if there were any drugs involved in the making of Lonerisim but it sure feels like there were.
Parker’s voice has been likened to that of John Lennon. Usually I ignore people that use any kind of comparison to The Beatles to describe an artist (because it’s never true) but I see where people are coming from. I’d actually say he sounds more like Tom Evans from Badfinger, but no one knows who that is. Either way, it’s a beautiful voice that compliments the laid back melodies. The music itself is difficult to describe. Then again, that kind of comes with the territory. Psychedelic music is all about throwing in the kitchen sink and on occasion, the kitchen as well. But every kitchen needs a good cook, and Parker knows his way around the kitchen. I try not to go too in depth with describing psychedelic music as it seems pointless. It’s all about the groove and the emotional response you have to that groove.
If words like “atmospheric” and “elaborate” are ways you like to hear bands described, check out Lonerism. If you like The Flaming Lips or Dungen (I highly recommend their 2004 album Ta det lugnt), check out Lonerism. If you’d rather listen to psychedelic music than listen to some guy try and explain it, check out Lonerism.
Favorite Tracks: “Be Above It”, “Elephant”, “Why Won’t They Talk to Me?”