Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker’s Top 5 Favorite Albums
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
Sharing his thoughts during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session in 2016, Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker was asked by one fan if he had an all-time favorite album. Parker replied, but with one important qualification. He didn’t have a single favorite, but five.
Air, Talkie Walkie (2004)
Parker has waxed lyrical about French duo Air’s 2004 album in several interviews. “There’s something so clean about that album,” he informed the LA Times in 2012. “But it still just f****s with your head.”
“I was starting university when Talkie Walkie came out,” informed The Guardian, in 2013. “It became an emotional soundtrack to what was going on in my life… This album was such an enhancer. I was really inspired by the way they layered melodies and sounds to create a sort of electronic orchestra. That opened my eyes to new studio possibilities, because it was just two guys but they were making a world of sounds. It made me realize that it doesn’t have to sound like a band, it can sound like something totally different.”
Supertramp, Breakfast In America (1979)
Tame Impala‘s mastermind first revealed his love of Supertramp in a 2012 interview with Spin. “I get a big buzz out of their music,” he enthused. “It’s got that explosive quality, that big sound with introspective lyrics. I love that. They’re exploding outwards, inwardly. I don’t know. I can’t describe it.” In a recent interview with Beats 1, Parker also shared that the song was a key influence for leading The Slow Rush single ‘It Might Be Time’.
Micheal Jackson, Thriller (1982)
Parker covered Micheal Jackson’s ‘Stranger In Moscow’ in Soundcloud in 2014 and the influence of this guilty pop pleasure would also make itself known on 2015’s Currents. “My brother Steve, who was a few years older than me, had Bad on tape,” Parker told The Guardian in 2013. “I remember listening to ‘Smooth Criminal’ and just thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I must have been five or six at the time and I remember walking around school by myself thinking I was Michael Jackson. I wasn’t dancing, exactly – more like walking musically. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“Michael Jackson’s one of my favorite artists of my whole life,” he would share in another interview. “In fact, I think he is my favorite. It’s one of the first things I fell in love with before I learned about genres and before I knew what was cool to like.”
Queens of the Stone Age, Rated R (2000)
While Kevin Parker has never expanded upon the Tame Impala-Queens of the Stone Age connection, he did assist good friend Mark Ronson in covering the band’s ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ for Australian radio station triple j’s popular Like a Version covers segment in 2015.
Dungen, Ta Det Lugnt (2004) & 4 (2008)
When Kevin said he had five favorites, he actually meant six. When talking with his Reddit fans Parker noted he held Dungen’s Ta Det Lugnt and 4 in equal reagrd. The affection, it seems, runs both ways as Dungen’s Gustave Ejstes is also a Tame Impala fan. “Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker,” he shared with Australian publication Music Feeds in 2016, “is from another motherland but some kind of parallel trend to us. The Perth guys and all that is very much amazing.”
Read Tame Impala’s Reddit AMA in its entirety here.