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‘I Thought The Album Sucked’: Tame Impala Reflects On ‘Lonerism’ 10 Years On

6 October 2022 | 1:25 pm | Mary Varvaris

"In a way, it’s when I truly discovered myself as an artist."

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Ah, Lonerism. The second album by Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker is ten years old today. Where has the time gone? And does anyone remember a time before songs like Elephant and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards weren't embedded in Australia's consciousness?

Parker, a multi-instrumentalist from childhood, found himself while making Lonerism. He learned the guitar by playing the leads to The Shadows songs and discovered his passion for melody through his father's cover band, thanks to the exposure to songs by Supertramp, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles.

His debut album recording as Tame Impala, the ARIA-nominated Innerspeaker, won Parker the APRA Award for Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year. Never one to rest on his laurels, he began working on Lonerism before Innerspeaker was released. 

Lonerism's luscious sound won Tame Impala Album of the Year awards from triple j, NME, and Rolling Stone. The album was subsequently named Best Rock Album and Album of the Year at the 2013 ARIA Awards and received a nomination for Best Alternative Music Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

"Difficult to sum up what the album means to me at this point. It was a pretty special time for me making the music (it wasn’t an album yet at that point). In a way it’s when I truly discovered myself as an artist," Parker wrote on Instagram, reflecting on Lonerism's impact and legacy and his doubts at the time.

"Coming off the back of Innerspeaker I had this new sense of purpose. I had finally given myself permission to let music take over my being completely… to become totally immersed in my own world of recording music. So I had this new sense of creative freedom. 

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"I felt free to be ambitious, weird, pop, experimental, whatever, and didn’t feel judged because I was finally just doing it for myself and believed in myself. For the most part anyway… of course the day came to release it and it all came crashing down and I thought the album sucked and couldn’t even imagine people enjoying it. 

"As it turns out I was wrong… the album dropped and exceeded all my expectations and my life changed massively again, and I slowly realised the music was pretty good, again, which gave me a new sense of purpose, and the cycle starts again…."

The long-awaited Aussie leg of Tame Impala's The Slow Rush Tour kicks off later this month. See all dates below and click here for more info.

Tue 18 Oct, 2022 - Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane

Thu 20 Oct, 2022 - Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney

Sat 22 Oct, 2022 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Sun 23 Oct, 2022 - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

Wed 26 Oct, 2022 - Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide

Sat 29 Oct, 2022 - RAC Arena, Perth