It’s pretty hard to quantify Kevin Parker’s contribution to music over the past decade. Hitting our earholes for the first time with his debut self-titled EP it was clear that he was going to be something special. That introduction – a low-fi, gritty wash of guitars over dreamy melodies and uptempo beats – was the first stepping stone to what would go on to be one of the most recognisable ‘sounds’ in pop music.
Over the past decade, Kevin Parker has gone on to become one of the world’s most respected songwriters and producers, amass billions of streams, headline the world’s biggest festivals and wear a shit-tonne of scarfs. But what are the tracks that define Tame Impala? Take a look at the songs that made him below:
The first hint that there was something a bit funkier lurking underneath the fuzzed-out debut EP. This tune was effectively his announcement that Tame Impala are more than a throwback band.
Here we hear those big synth sounds that would become synonymous with Tame for the first time.
Manipulating the drums, whilst vocals and synths soar above in the mix would become a KP staple pretty much from here on in.
It’s his first single that has that slowed-down ballad feel to it – our little Kev is growing up.
An unlikely hit, apparently this tune was inspired by Daft Punk’s ‘Robot Rock’ which is probably a good indicator of Kev beginning to look electronica for inspiration in terms of instrumentation and production.
A firm sign that producing a radio-friendly hit isn’t the reason he rolls out of bed, this seven-minute single would go on to become a live favourite. It also introduces that fat guitar/bass tone that we’d hear on ‘The Less I Know The Better’ and more.
Arguably one of his finest tunes, when this came out, it showed the us that Kev was capable of producing sonically lush pop… In case the world needed evidence…
This was that blend of funk and psych and pop that you’d think Kevin had been working towards for so long. Not thinking much of it at the time, he tried to offload the song to Mark Ronson after he wrote it…
The Slow Rush has so many moments of reflection, which is perhaps why we hear a lot of ‘90s influence in there. Maybe it’s the LA life, but there are a lot of those Cali-rap tropes happening on the record with a modern-day, Tame twist.
Experimental pop? How do you even begin to describe this song? There’s a stuttery beat and disjointed bassline that somehow work together so nicely. It feels like there isn’t anything that this guy can’t do.