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If you like the wonderful psychedelic poppy-sounding songs of Kevin Parker, then you should definitely check out these bands like Tame Impala.
Kevin Parker often called the Australian Psychedelic Jesus is the one-man-show behind his musical project, Tame Impala. On all for of his albums till date, from ‘Innerspeaker’ to the ‘Slow Rush’, almost all of the instruments are played by Kevin. He composes the music, writes the lyrics, sings as well. He is a perfectionist.
Tame Impala is known for their visually stunning live shows. Kevin is the lead guitarist/singer and he hires members of bands like Gum and Pond(included in the list) to play the instruments for him. Their live shows have to be seen to be believed. They are nothing short of a psychedelic trip. The live shows are a technological marvel, full of sky-high lasers and perfectly timed light shows. Tame Impala has a habit of selling out arenas.
Tame Impala has had a huge influence on my life. You could say they are my favourite band of all time, but that would be too big a statement. However, Tame Impala have been my gateway drug to a lot of mind-blowing musical talents. So, if you like Kevin Parker’s brand of music, you’ll love these 10 talented artists and bands.
Bands Like Tame Impala
- 1. Pond
- 2. MGMT
- 3. The Beatles
- 4. Melody’s Echo Chamber
- 5. Pink Floyd
- 6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra
- 7. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
- 8. Mac Demarco
- 9. Beach House
- 10. Mild High Club
Pond was formed by two of Tame Impala’s touring members, the guitarist Nick Albrook and the talented Jay-Watson. Albrook, who is a multi-instrumentalist and Watson, formed the band in 2008, alongside with Joe Ryan and Jamie Terry, and a few drummers on rotation who would be mostly supporting the band.
The idea behind the band was that it was a collaborative project where new musicians could be brought in, when the members felt like it, to add variety to their lineup. Pond made their debut with two self-released albums, Psychedelic Mango(2008) and Corridors of Blissterday(2009). They didn’t receive a lot of attention with these albums but their ‘Frond’, became quite popular, as it was released alongside Tame Impala’s ‘Innerspeaker’.
The fourth album, Beards, Wives, Denim was signed by Modular Records, the same international label that worked with ‘Tame Impala’. After the release of their fourth studio album, they became a high profile band known for their incredible sounds. Their next 3 albums Man it Feels Like Space Again(2015), The Weather(2017) and Tasmania(2019) were critical hits and got a lot of praise from the music community. I highly recommend giving them a listen.
MGMT initially started as an electroclash musical band, but then evolved into more of pop sound with elements of psychedelia. First formed in 2002, MGMT began as a small college band. Ben Goldwasser and Andrew Van Wyngarden were freshman students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut when they came up with the band. They initially called the band ‘Management’ and they started playing local and college gigs.
By the time they were in senior year, they had a more defined sound and started using musicians to help them with their live shows. After they graduated, they released the 2005 EP, Time to Pretend. They met up with Dave Friedmann and then recorded Oracular Spectacular, their debut album, which got a lot of attention and success. ‘Kids’, the third song in the album became hugely popular worldwide and they got nominated for Best Pop Performance at the Grammys.
Their next few albums also did pretty well, commercially and critically, and solidified their fan following. Their best-known albums are ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Little Dark Age'(my personal fav). They are often compared to Tame Impala, as being one of the pioneers of modern psychedelic-pop sounds. You should definitely give them a listen.
I don’t I really need to say about this legendary band. They are the most well-known band of all time and have influenced the music industry like no other band in the history of music. They were the band that brought endless and genius innovations into pop music than any other band in their time. Their position as the best rock band of all time is still unchallenged, even 50 years after the band split up.
They were also the original inspiration for Tame Impala. Tame Impala’s first 2 albums heavily feature Beatles like sounds. Some critics even compared Kevin Parker’s to that of John Lennon. That’s why they are part of this list. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t listened to them, it’s about time.
Honestly, I’m really not qualified to talk about this band, except they are up there with The Beatles themselves, in terms of legacy. Their very name invokes a certain sound in the minds of their fans – echoing, psychedelic, mind-blowing sounds that inspired by the vastness of outer space. Pink Floyd perfected that limitless explorative sounds.
Pink Floyd’s lyrics talked about subjects like ego, the heart, space, society, alienation with their albums. Their most well-regarded album, Dark Side of the Moon, is also their best work and even decades after their prime, they continue to garner generations of fans. Pink Floyd are the literal innovators of the genre psychedelia, along with the Beatles.
In their early years, Syd Barett was the frontman and he helped build the sound of the band. However, he left soon after producing their first album. Roger Waters then came on board and made the band the legend they are today. Pink Floyd are also one of the major inspirations for Tame Impala’s sound a must-listen for everyone.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Unknown Mortal Orchestra(known as UMO) are one of the most unique sounding bands today. Ruban Nielson, the backbone of the band, is a very interesting artist. His psychedelic and weird approach to music was clearly evident from his very first home-recorded UMO album. It was a trippy production, and he collaborated with his brother Kody. He incorporated a lot of different styles of music which made his sounds uniquely different from everyone else producing psych-pop.
Their 2015 album, Multi-Love gave them the critical appreciation and the commercial success the band deserved. It combined elements disco, pop, psychedelic to R&B. The infusion created an album with one of the most unique and out there sound signatures. Although their sound is distinctly different from that of Tame Impala, you’ll love their quirky, melodic music.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard was formed in 2011 in Melbourne, Australia by a group of friends who often jammed together. The group consists of the vocalist/guitarist, Stu Mackenzie, two other guitarists Cook Craig and Joey Walker, harmonica player and singer Ambrose Smith, bassist Lucas Skinner, and drummers Michael Cavanagh and Eric Moore.
They are well known for releasing albums very fast and producing tons and tons of music and because of this, they have garnered a small but dedicated fan following. King Gizzard is a classic example of a garage-rock band whose sound is very chaotic and undefined. Their sounds are very reminiscent of 60’s psychedelia mixed with elements of hard rock. Their sound is very rock and roll yet based in psychedelic. If you like exploring unique sounding bands are a fan of hardcore psych-rock, you should give these guys a chance.
Mac Demarco is Vernor Winfield MacBriare Smith IV’s stage name(a long name I know), a Canadian musician, songwriter and producer. Mac is known for his fun stoner goofball persona and he has a charming, laid back image in the music industry. He music is strangely comforting. I always end up listening to him when I want to listen to something simple yet intricate. Despite his goofball image, few of his songs deal with serious subject matters like morality, ageing, commitments.
His 2014 album Salad Days, made him popular and it was a mix of jazz, pop and soft rock. It sold thousands of copies, making him a household name in the process. Some of my personal favourite songs of Mac are ‘Salad Days’, ‘Chamber of Reflection’, ‘My Kind of Woman’ and ‘On the Level’. If you’re looking for something chill and smooth, Mac Demarco is your man.
Beach House is a band that I hold in very high regard and I hold them really close to my heart. They are one of the best(personally my all-time fav) dream-pop of this generation. Beach House is the lovechild of Victoria LeGrand, vocalist/keyboardist and Alex Scally, guitarist. Beach House have evolved their sound from lo-fi early releases like their self titled album to ethereally beautiful music like their 2012 album Blood.
Beach House is literally in every one of my playlists. They are probably the only band I like as much as Tame Impala. Some of my favourite Beach House songs are Space Song, Other People, Levitation and Take Care. Check them out; I have a feeling you’ll love them.
Mild High Club
Mild High Club is a psychedelic-pop band headed by Alexander Brettin. He is an LA-based musician, originally from Chicago. Mild High Club’s sound is pleasant and fuzzy, yet they have great attention to detail without it being too much. Alexander began working on Mild High Club, playing instruments and producing by himself. This is one of the best bands like Tame Imapala
Over time, a few musicians joined his little band and they released the single ‘Windowpane’ in 2014. Since then they have released a couple of good albums and have gained a good fan following. It’s not the best band on the list but they deserve a place on your playlist with their amazing songs like Homage, Skiptracing and Windowpane.