Band of the Week.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala is a band from Perth, Australia. It is the psychedelic rock project of Kevin Parker. They are signed to Modular Records. The band came to prominence in 2010 with the release of their debut album, Innerspeake

Their name refers to the impala, a medium sized antelope. The band like to see themselves as “a steady flowing psychedelic groove rock band that emphasizes dream-like melody.

Tame Impala were formed from Kevin Parker’s original blues/jazz/psychedelic band, the Dee Dee Dums. The Dee Dee Dums consisted of Parker (drums) and Luke Epstein (guitar). The band achieved second place at the 2005 AmpFest and won third place that year in the state final of The Next Big Thing. In October 2006 Epstein was replaced by drummer Sam Devenport, Epstein going on to play with Sugarpuss. The Dee Dee Dums went on to win the Western Australia state final of the National Campus Band Competition. In late 2007 the band renamed to Tame Impala unveiling another new drummer and replacing the two-guitar attack for the more traditional guitar/bass/drums format. Devenport went on to pursue an acting career.

In July 2008 the band signed a worldwide deal with independent label Modular Recordings.

The signing was soon followed by the release on their self-titled debut EP in September 2008. Due to Kevin Parker’s original artwork there was some confusion with the EP title and many believed it to be called Antares Mira Sun. The artwork is an interpretation of a slide he saw in an astronomy lecture, which demonstrated the difference in size between the stars Antares, Mira and the Sun.

The cover art is meant to be a painting; an interpretation of a diagram, so those labels are just there to make the diagram make sense. But lo and behold, there were reviews coming out saying “And Tame Impala’s new EP ‘Antares, Mira, Sun”.
—Kevin Parker

Tame Impala went to number 1 on the Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) Chart and number 10 on the ARIA Physical Singles Chart, with three songs, “Desire Be, Desire Go”, “Half Full Glass of Wine” and “Skeleton Tiger” which received national radio airplay on the Triple J Network. Tours in 2008 included supports for You Am I, The Black Keys, Yeasayer and MGMT, as well as performances at Southbound, Meredith Music Festival, and Falls Festival, as well as a national headline tours in support of their EP. 2009 tours include a sold out 6 date ‘Skeleton Tiger’ national headline tour, a 5 date UK tour including Nevereverland UK, V Festival, Groovin The Moo and a stadium tour with The Living End and Gyroscope.

Tame Impala appeared on Triple J’s Hottest 100 2008, their first appearance on the list, with “Half Full Glass of Wine” reaching number 75. The song is also on the Hottest 100 compilation.

Tame Impala’s first single, “Sundown Syndrome”, was recorded at Toerag Studios in London, with recording engineer Liam Watson, whilst the band was there in March 2009. “Sundown Syndrome” was premiered by Richard Kingsmill on his 2009 show on Triple J on Sunday 10 May. It was released in July 2009 on vinyl and electronically along with a cover of Blue Boy’s “Remember Me”.

The band then headlined the inaugural “Rottofest” in August 2009, an annual comedy, film and music festival held off the coast of Western Australia on Rottnest Island. Following, they embarked on a national tour supporting the single through September and October 2009.

The band then released 2 albums being : Innerspeak and Lonerism.


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Written by Paul McJimpsey

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