Album Review: Tame Impala – Lonerism

Tame Impala’s recently-released album, Lonerism, forges through a psych-rock dreamscape that is held together by a foundation of clear-cut percussion. Released October 5th through Modular Recordings, the Australian band’s sophomore album is a strong follow-up to their 2010 debut Innerspeak. And for an album consisting of 12 songs about isolation and loneliness, the result is anything but disheartening.

Even “Keep Lying,” which features an interlude with recordings of dinner party chatter the listener can’t help but feel excluded from, is kept upbeat with buoyant guitar riffs and a healthy overwashing of synth work.

Kevin Parker, who heads the project on vocals and guitar, classified the songs as “sugar-pop that’s been sent to outer space and back.” Lonerism is something of a departure from the rock-based tracks on earlier releases but sticks to a lyrical theme and consistent rhythms, and in doing so sidesteps the fate of many other psych-rock albums (experimental to the point of shapelessness). The album’s first single, “Elephant,” plays like a child of Innerspeak, strutting back to the band’s rock influences.

The album was recorded at Parker’s home in Perth, Australia, where Tame Impala has received a fair amount of recognition from Triple J and the ARIA charts. That’s not to discount the wider attention the band has gotten overseas; they’ve toured as support with The Black Keys and MGMT among others, earned a fistful of festival slots and picked up Rolling Stone’s coveted Album of the Year title in 2011 for Innerspeak.

While Tame Impala isn’t coming to the west coast any time soon, you can stream Lonerism HERE. At least give “Mind mischief,” “Music to walk home by” and “Elephant” a listen if you don’t have time for the full album.