Tame Impala’s Dizzying Side Projects

For being an solo project, Tame Impala sure has a lot of members. Its live act currently consists of Kevin Parker, Jay Watson, Dominic Simper, Julien Barbagallo, and Cam Avery, who replaced Nick Allbrook in 2013. These talented members all play multiple instruments in the band and most have their own projects and collaborations outside of the band. This will serve as a look into the many other bands that Tame Impala’s members are apart of and the other work Kevin Parker has done outside of the band. Before diving into this longform, I’d advise listening to the tracks “It Is Not Meant To Be,” “Apocalypse Dreams,” and “Eventually” if you’d like to get into Tame Impala past their more popular singles.

 

Mink Mussel Creek

Kevin Parker, Nick Allbrook, and Joe Ryan were all founding members of Mink Mussel Creek in 2005. Parker’s drums became a strong feature of the band’s heavy psych sound. The band broke up in 2008 but a 2011 reunion led to the release of their singular album Mink Mussel Manticore. Recommended track: “They Dated Steadily”

 

Pond

Despite featuring a revolving line up that has featured most Tame members at one point or another, the three mainstays of Pond are Jay Watson, former Tame member Nick Allbrook, and Joe Ryan who now provides Tame Impala with live visuals. The band has steadily released albums since forming in 2008, with their pop and funk influences becoming more apparent over time. Recommended track: “Sitting Up On Our Crane”

 

Melody’s Echo Chamber

A solo project of French Melody Prochet, whose band My Bee’s Garden had toured with Tame Impala. Prochet and Parker were dating at the time they collaborated on the self-titled debut album in 2012. Parker’s influence is a key part of this album but what steals the show is Prochet’s beautiful vocals. The two have since broke up and a second album from Melody titled Cross My Heart is on the way. Recommended track: “Some Time Alone, Alone”

 

GUM

Jay Watson, currently playing keys and guitar for Tame, releases his solo work under the name GUM. Naturally similar sounding to Pond, GUM’s sounds are set apart with more electronic vibes. Recommended track: “Growin’ Up”

 

Allbrook/Avery

Long time friends and current (Avery) and past (Allbrook) members of Tame Impala teamed up as Allbrook/Avery in 2011 to record their currently only released album. The album is lo-fi, spacey, and pretty British sounding, fitting considering Allbrook/Avery have two unreleased albums made in collaboration with London shoegaze band The Horrors. Recommended track: “Empty”

 

Nicholas Allbrook

In 2014, between Pond albums and one year after leaving Tame Impala, Allbrook release his first solo album which was followed with another in 2016. His unique voice is accompanied by sparing psych elements on the first album and the second features some more avant garde elements. Recommended track: “Tramadol with Fear”

 

Cameron Avery

Recorded and released after Tame Impala’s most recent album, Cam Avery’s only album so far goes in a different direction than most mentioned here; he harks back to much older music and croons like Sinatra on tracks about love. Recommended track: “Wasted on Fidelity”


The Growl

Prior to replacing Nick Allbrook in Tame Impala, Cam Avery toured with the band as frontman of their supporting act The Growl. Avery splits time between the two bands but The Growl’s most recent releases are from 2013 and 2014. Recommended track: “Douse the Lamps”


Barbagallo

Finally we come to Tame’s  drummer’s eponymous solo project that has steadily produced three albums since 2015. Some of his efforts have been described as reminiscent of the late Elliott Smith. Recommended track: “Ça, tu me”

 

While there are a few other bands the current and past Tame Impala members have played in, I only chose to highlight the ones I felt are most representative of the efforts of Tame members themselves. Parker and some other members have also gone by different monikers and performed one-offs such as the project that began as Kevin Spacey, changed its name to The Golden Triangle Municipal Funk Band, and finally changed it again to AAA Aardvark Getdown Services.

 

Collabs

Kevin Parker has been in high demand for collaborations, especially with the success of Tame Impala’s album Currents in 2015. In 2013, Parker contributed vocals for the French duo Discodeine’s track “Aydin.” He also collabed with Mark Ronson for three songs off of Ronson’s 2015 album Uptown Special; “Daffodils” is my favorite of the trio. Parker and Ronson continued working together and co-wrote “Perfect Illusion” with Lady Gaga from her 2016 album Joanne. Parker remixed Miguel’s song “Waves” on the singer’s EP Rogue Wave in the same year. On Rihanna’s 2016 album ANTI, she covered Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” featuring Parker’s instrumental with Rihanna’s voice replacing his. Kevin Parker, Mark Ronson, and SZA have also been confirmed to be working on a new unreleased album by SZA herself. Parker has also been producing more and more albums for other bands, especially other Australian musicians and the many side projects of his Tame Impala bandmates.

 

You can find all of the songs mentioned above on my Spotify playlist below!

Taylor Swift’s Reputation is Not Getting Any Better

On March 11, Taylor Swift released her new music video of her song Delicate. As thrilled as people were to see it, the video was nothing new that we haven’t seen already. We’ve seen a corky girl dancing, we’ve heard people complain about being famous, and we’ve heard songs about boys. I was hoping her entire new album be about her, but I guess I was wrong.

The song itself wasn’t bad, but the elements in the video were. Taylor Swift is popular for her corky dance, but in this video she looked like a poor imitation of Maddie Ziegler, the popular dancer featured in Sia’s videos. Her dancing was made a mock off such that people made her into a meme. Some overriding Swift’s song with Spanish singer’s, Melody, song El Baile del Gorila, where it appears that she is dancing to that song instead of Delicate. This is not the only comparison that Swift’s video is being compared to. There is also a controversy relating to the similarities that Delicate has with Kenzo’s perfume ad, calling Swift’s video a “copy with worst dancing.”

If there is anything more annoying than her dancing is the autotune she has started to incorporate into her new songs. This robotic special effect is making her no good, and she should stay away from it. The girl sings good, and she should not try to fix what is not brocken. She along with her team need to understand that her fans would rather hear her voice than a machine. I had to watch the video with captions in order to understand what she was singing. The captions helped, and the more I listened to it the more I enjoyed it, but if I can’t understand the song without captions then there is no point in listening to it. The special effects used on her singing does not work for me.

Having a good beat, and a catchy phrase makes a good song, but not a good music video. And let’s leave the crazy emotional dancing to Ziegler.

Rock n Roll is Dead

For a long time now I have noticed that there isn’t many rock bands in this day and age. While listening to KROQ, a rock station in LA, I noticed that most of the music they were playing was classic rock or songs from the early to mid 2000s. Almost simultaneously, me and dad turned to each other and said “why are there no rock bands anymore?”. We went into a conversation that lasted about an hour reminiscing on the height of rock music (which I wasn’t even alive for) and the decline of it.
My dad said “name a band right now that is releasing music that you think is rock?” I personally couldn’t think of anything. Yea I thought of Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy and The Killers but their height was in the early 2000s when pop punk was it. For me, personally it takes a lot for me to get into a new artist so maybe there are some bands but how many of them will be held as rockstars.
I grew up taking after my dad’s and brothers’ music taste which is mostly classic rock. Names such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Animals, and Queen were always listened to. These bands are still my most listened to on Spotify (behind Harry Styles). I love watching documentaries on bands from the 60s-80s when Rock was the main event. People went crazy over these rockstars. And that is no longer around. Maybe I miss the counterculture of rock that I wasn’t around for.
This also isn’t just an opinion. As of now Hip-Hop/Rap is the most popular genre as opposed to rock which held the number one place for decades. Now, I do agree that times change and its time for something else to be on top I must admit that I miss Rock n Roll.

image:  

5 songs everyone should listen to

I have very strong opinions about what people should do, especially when it comes to music and movies. So, below is a list of five songs I think that everyone should listen to at least once.

“Human Nature” Michael Jackson
I know we all know the King of Pop and his greatest hits, but a song that I usually see missing from that list is this song. With its smooth, soft melody and Micheal’s beautiful, ageless voice this song is everything one needs for a relaxing day. “When they say why, tell them that it’s human nature.”

2.  “Silver Springs” Fleetwood Mac
An iconic song from the iconic “Rumors” era. But it wasn’t on the original release of the album because of time. Stevie Nicks wrote this song about her then ex-boyfriend and Fleetwood Mac’s very own guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Her voice increasing with urgency and frustration and the fact that she sings this on stage with him, looking him straight in the eye makes it all the more powerful. “Time casts a spell on you but you wont forget me.”

3. “This River is Wild” The Killers
From the worldwide known album Sam’s Town, this song tends to be forgotten… at least so I thought. On Jan. 30, 2018 I had the pleasure of seeing them live here in San Diego. Before they played this song (I was surprised that they even had it on the set list) Brandon Flowers said “we played this whole album in Sam’s Town for the 10 year anniversary and this song surprising had the most hype, so here is ‘This River is Wild’.” I was thrilled because this song is my favorite on the album. This song actually feels like a river. Rushing downstream. “I just wanna to show you what I know and catch when the current lets you go.”

4. “Silly” Deniece Williams
Now I couldn’t let y’all go without some soul and r&b. This song can be felt by everyone. Everyone has felt foolish loving someone who didn’t love you back. Willaim’s childlike voice, sounding innocent and silly makes the song really embody its title. “Silly of me to think that you could ever really want me too how I love you.”

5. “F*** With Myself” Banks
If you want to feel like the baddest in the land listen to this song. This song is for looking in the mirror, getting ready for the club, and just really feeling yourself. When Banks released this song a new level of confidence was unlocked within my soul. Her sultry voice and haunting beats makes this song of legendary status in my mind. “ I used to care what you think about me. Cause my love so good. So I f*** with myself more than anybody else.”

All of these songs and more are available in a playlist on spotify called “Songs that everyone should listen to”  I made of all the songs I think everyone should know.

 

featured image