Tame Impala’s Great New Album
Tame Impala’s new album Lonerism is an impressive document of one man’s talent. Kevin Parker is the main force behind the music and he wrote, played, and produced the album by himself. It boggles my mind how one person can break everything apart, play all of the individual parts, and end up with something that sounds so cohesive. Others, like Stevie Wonder, have done this too, but it never ceases to amaze me. Parker explains his production process and the reasoning behind presenting himself as a band in this video.
“My name isn’t interesting. It’s Kevin Parker…pffhhhhh. There are people around in the world with names like Leonardo DiCaprio and Julian Casablancas…people have much more interesting names than me…Unless you’re like a band, with four guys, then no one is going to pay attention to you. So I thought I had to make a band to get anywhere.”
Lonerism, like the equally good Innerspeaker, has a late ‘60s psych rock sound that is reminiscent of the Beatles’ adventurous later albums. It’s not derivative in a bad way, it’s more like a comfortable familiarity. Parker addresses the similarities in this interview, noting comparisons to John Lennon’s voice and his preference for certain recording techniques. He says “I just love that kind of dreamy, treble-y kind of voice. That vocal sound really touches me more than anything else.” Check out the video for “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” for a taste of what the album sounds like:
Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
The Amazing Kids of the PS22 Chorus
I recently discovered the PS22 Chorus when someone shared a link to their Tame Impala cover of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” According to their wiki page, PS22 is a school in Graniteville, Staten Island (NY) and the chorus is made up of 60-70 fifth graders who are lead by Gregg Breinberg. Their Tame Impala gave me goose bumps the first time I watched it. One, it’s a great cover. Two, the kids are inspiring and sing with emotion. Three, it’s awesome that this school has a music program (kind of amazing by itself) and that the leader is introducing them to all kinds of interesting music. These kids are amazing. There’s no half-stepping here. They’re all totally into it. Ask the average fifth grader about Tame Impala and you’ll probably get “what the Ninjago!” in response.
PS22 Chorus – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” (Tame Impala Cover)
I also really love their cover of Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Watch the girl in the front row at the beginning of the video. She’s incredible. I love their enthusiasm. The lead singer totally nails it and, as usual, the chorus comes through with tons of energy and emotion. Add these kids to the list of things that are amazing in this world. And major credit goes to Gregg Breinberg for inspiring these kids and creating this outlet for them. You can see more of their videos, which have racked up more than 50 million views, on their youtube channel.
PS22 Chorus – “Somebody That I Used to Know” (Gotye Cover)
Tommy M is in awe of Kevin Parker and the kids at PS22.