As August draws to a close, #TopTenSunday looks at one particular genius. Kevin Parker is the prototypical psychedelic rock virtuoso, best known for his work as the brains behind Tame Impala, but his work with the likes of Pond, Melody Prochet and various other psych projects contributes to an exquisite and compelling back catalogue. This week, we look at the top 10 tracks from that prospectus, that best show off his multi-instrumental prowess, his production skill, and of course, his prodigious ability as a songwriter. There’s no need for drugs here…
10. Tame Impala – Endors Toi
A warped synth and a hawkish, psyched-out riff combine to create a scintillating opening to this track from Lonerism.
9. Tame Impala – Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Can Control
The other end of the Lonerism spectrum. This sprawler puts a once-in-a-generation LP into its own kind of perspective.
8. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bisou Magique
Melody Prochet’s voice is a beautiful thing, but when it’s singing in French about a ‘magic kiss’…
7. Pond – Moth Wings
Our mate Kevin provided the drums on Beard, Wives, Denim, and this is arguably its best track.
6. Melody’s Echo Chamber – I Follow You
The opening track from MEC’s self-titled pairs the easiest of fuzzy riffs with an enchantingly sugary melody from Melody.
5. Space Lime Peacock – Shit A Cosmic Jam
This relatively short-lived psych/funk project formed in 2008, and featured Parker in a number of roles. This is SLP shitting a cosmic jam.
4. Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams
Another corker from Lonerism. Its playful, friendly northern-soul groove ultimately escapes into an all-encompassing sun-warped jam.
3. Mink Mussel Creek – They Dated Steadily
Parker’s drumming was a driving force in MMC’s heavy-psych sound. This 13-minute progfather encapsulates everything good from their dynamic blueprint.
2. Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Lonerism gets its 4th entry into this list. Feels Like… is governed by a dominant, pining bassline, paving the way for HD textures and glittering isolation.
1. Tame Impala – It’s Not Meant To Be
Kevin Parker’s best work is the opening track from Tame Impala’s debut LP. It’s Not Meant To Be spawns a supernatural, tumbling bassline that dictates the trademark psych-warped guitars, with Parker’s remote vocals completing a depiction of splendid detachment. The effect is mesmerizing.