Cover Feature Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin

No one else has had a year quite like Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Contrary to reputation, though, he’s just taking it as it comes.

Back home in Western Australia for the first time in months, Kevin Parker’s doing his best to take stock of his 2016. “I have trouble enough working out what I did this year, and what was further back than a year,” he admits, the dizzying speed at which their third album, 2015’s ‘Currents’, propelled Tame Impala forward clearly having played havoc with the head honcho’s short-term memory. “I can’t for the life of me work out what the first thing I did this year was.”

A refresher, then. After capping off last year with their first major festival headline slots, the pop-loving psych-heads roared into this one with a nod from Rihanna (as you do), who covered ‘Currents’’ ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ on her latest album. Not a bad present for Kev’s 30th birthday. As the festival bookings kept slotting in, they then skipped out on the Grammy’s – at which they were nominated for Best Alternative Music Album – instead using their Valentine’s Day weekend to sell out two nights at London’s cavernous Alexandra Palace. A Best International Group award at the BRITs capped off that month, before Kev went for a dip in the sea for his ‘Waves’ collaboration with honey-sweet crooner Miguel. Admitting back in April that he was working on new music - “I don’t know if it’s for Tame Impala or if it’s something I’m going to write for someone else, because I’ve been wanting to do that a lot more,” he teased - things then went full-on bonkers.

Photos of the supposedly reclusive producer in the studio with Lady Gaga cropped up online, setting the rumour mill ablaze, before a huge billing at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound proved his band had the chops to fill those top spots they were hurtling towards all summer. It was a good job too, really – just a couple of weeks later, they were Saturday night’s second-from-top on Glastonbury’s iconic Pyramid Stage. Who were they opening for? Oh, just Adele. August saw confirmation that Kevin and long-time pal Mark Ronson had co-produced Lady Gaga’s incoming new single ‘Perfect Illusion’, and September saw its release. It’s been a radio mainstay ever since.

“We have a habit of doing that…” Kev shrugs, looking back on that packed-out calendar. “It was pretty intense this year. Things just come up, y’know?”

Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin Tame Impala: we need to talk about Kevin

As featured in the November 2016 issue of DIY, out now.

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