Tame Impala was the latest act to appear on the retooled NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert on Monday. The Australian psych-pop outfit led by Kevin Parker performed selections from The Slow Rush and beyond.
The video features Parker alongside Jay Watson and Dom Simper at Parker’s studio in Australia. While everything may seem familiar, this performance finds the group making some major departures from the studio sounds of their latest record.
Before the video even begins, listeners can hear a sampled beat begin as Parker soundchecks the microphone. Opening with “Breathe Deeper”, the song takes on a dreamy repetitiveness with the phrase “Believe me, I can, believe me, I can” said over and over as the looped sample circles around. The performance is much more electronically-oriented than any of Parker’s previous studio work, thanks in part to his use of a DJ mixing board.
By the second song, it becomes obvious that these performances won’t be anything close to the record. This Tiny Desk concert comes just days after Tame Impala shared a remix of “Is It True” by English producer Four Tet. The second song in this concert also just so happens to be “Is It True”, which again takes on an infectious dance vibe as Parker works the board. In stark contrast to his appearance on Colbert where he played every instrument, this new performance aesthetic and philosophy finds the Tame Impala figurehead focused solely on the board and thus completely transforming the sound.
Finally, they play “Patience” which, though released as a single in 2019, did not make it onto The Slow Rush. Here the dance focus remains in tact and inspires a Tame Impala fan to ponder whether this electronic-leaning sound is just a passing fancy or if this Tiny Desk could be a clue to the group’s work going forward.
Watch Tame Impala perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series.
Tame Impala – Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
[Video: NPR Music]