Let it happen: This summer belongs to Tame Impala

With massive festival slots and big collaborations in the works, everything’s going up a gear for Kevin Parker and co.

Like printing a clashfinder and throwing it into the nearest bin the second a festival starts, it’s impossible to be prepared for a summer of music. You just have to watch the tides turn and go with it. School all you like and hypothesise at will, but songs of the summer appear out of nowhere. Nobody saw OMI’s ‘Cheerleader’ creeping around the corner this time last year, and chances are 2016’s choice is still waiting in the wings (we’re looking at you, Chas & Dave - now’s your time).

But it’s around this time of year when the real winners of summer - however abstract that might sound, it exists, honest - show their faces. Festival bills have almost completely taken shape. Certain songs are being given repeat plays. And at this point in 2016, everything points to one band.

Of late, Tame Impala haven’t had to do all that much to pick up the plaudits. They did all the hard work in 2015, by releasing peerless third LP ‘Currents’, a sonic shift and slowburner that’s still working its magic.

In the past couple of months, their fortunes have taken a surreal turn. Winning Best International Group at the BRITs was one thing. Getting Rihanna to reinterpret ‘Currents’’ gloomy closing track was quite another. It’s not like Kevin Parker’s been immune to the spotlight up to now - collaborations with Mark Ronson gave hints of someone willing to dive deep into the pop world. But music’s big leaguers have these Aussies on edge of their lips.

There’s no official word on whether a rumoured Lady Gaga collaboration will ever surface, but that this is even being spoken about is pretty nuts. Parker recently told BBC Newsbeat he’d “fantastise” about working with other people. “[It’s] this foreign thing to me but something I would love to do more [collaborations],” he said.

This summer belongs to Tame Impala

“There’s a feeling that Tame Impala’s heady trip is only just beginning”

On their own two feet, the group are fast approaching festival headliner status. They’re right on the fringe of superstardom, if you take into account two sold out nights at London’s Alexandra Palace, a second-from-top billing on Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage, similar stakes at this weekend’s Primavera Sound in Barcelona. At every fest they play - from Bilbao BBK Live to Melt! in Germany - they’re hogging the festival poster, sharing big fonts with music’s certified giants.

And unlike a lot of those at the very top, there’s a feeling that Tame Impala’s heady trip is only just beginning. Debut album ‘Innerspeaker’ was a bedroom-based bolt out the blue. ‘Lonerism’ was even more of a revelation, Parker’s strange psych leanings being filtered into something sharp, coherent and brutally epic. ‘Currents’ was a risk in every sense - pure pop being the motive, unorthodox experimentation still defining each step. On all three records, it seems like they’re testing the water and realising the peak of their powers - it’s a process that’s barely started.

Tame Impala will play Open’er (29th June - 2nd July), Bilbao BBK Live (7th-9th July) and Melt! (15th-17th July), where DIY is an official media partner. Tickets are on sale now. Visit diymag.com/presents for more information.


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