Review: Tame Impala’s new Tiny Desk Concert is a big dance party

Review: Tame Impala’s new Tiny Desk Concert is a big dance party

Words by Tom Parker

The famed outfit just performed a special at-home set for NPR.

Synth wanderers Tame Impala just performed a special set for NPR’s revered intimate concert series, Tiny Desk, but things were a bit different on this occasion – the five-piece weren’t cooped up behind Bob Boilen’s desk but instead delivered the show from home.

Tame Impala live members Julien Barbagallo and Cameron Avery weren’t present, so it was up to Kevin Parker, Jay Watson and Dominic Simper to lead the charge. The trio delivered three cuts from the band’s 2020 LP, The Slow Rush – ‘Breathe Deeper’, ‘Is It True’ and ‘Patience’ – and the set ends up being a big dance party.

Courtesy of the epic “Tame Impala soundsystem” as Parker likes to call it, the show kicks off with ‘Breathe Deeper’. Watson guides the song’s intergalactic synths, while Simper commands the keyboard. Parker’s iconic vocals drift over the top of the heaving instrumentals like a deity tiptoeing across the clouds. It’s a six-minute opener that takes us to all corners of the universe.

As Watson closes out the song with a transcendent outro, Parker turns to his back and grins, visibly appreciative of Watson’s mastery. After a few jokes between the trio where the segment is mistakenly referred to as “Minny Desk”, they then proceed into ‘Is It True’ – a track that recently had its own remix thanks to ingenious producer, Four Tet.

Here listeners are taken into the jungle – as you wander down a narrow path through the pines, a forest dancefloor emerges; you turn to your mate with a smile and the party kicks off. Sparkling congas commence proceedings before an intoxicating bassline dives in and listeners are taken on a 120 bpm adventure.

Finally, the band delivered their much-loved single, ‘Patience’. When the band released the track in 2019, it was their first original music since 2015’s Currents. On this occasion, Parker, Watson and Simper give it the same treatment – the trademark keyboard line is accompanied by arpeggiated synths as Parker looks internally, singing of his own expansion into the much-evolved Tame Impala project we see today.

Check out the show below.

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