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Tame Impala

"Solitude is Bliss"

[Modular; 2010]

By ; June 11, 2010 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

While some of the more popular Aussie rock bands of recent – from Airbourne to Wolfmother – are struggling to resurrect AC/DC and Led Zeppelin-style riffery (is that a word? No? Well, it should be), Tame Impala dig back a decade further, channeling the psychedelic harmonies of The Beatles circa Sgt. Pepper, the acid-tinged riffs of Hendrix at his trippiest, and the acid-soaked Britpop blues of Cream. (They also throw in some Zeppelin for good measure, but do so without shamelessly cramping the band’s style.) The result is surprisingly effective.

“Solitude Is Bliss,” the poppy lead single for debut album Innerspeaker, opens with one of those warbling Hendrix riffs before launching headfirst into even hazier atmosphere. Singer Kevin Parker is eerily good at imitating John Lennon, but on this track he sounds more like Clapton, letting his voice glide freely over the harmonies. And yet, perhaps the most impressive thing here is that none of this does sound like an imitation – much like the entire album, “Solitude Is Bliss” sounds like a band working comfortably and organically, never straining to remind us who their influences are. If you were living in a cave for the last 40 years and turned on the radio and heard this track next to any of the aforementioned artists, you probably wouldn’t think it was out of place. “You will never come close to how I feel” is chanted repetitively in the chorus, but that’s just plain wrong – this song transports you right into whatever drug-laden wonderland these guys are living in. Rarely does revivalist rock music feel so natural.


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