LISTEN UP! Australia (Pt. 3) | Tame Impala + Abbe May
Here it is: part 3 of my series on Australian music, just as I promised (albeit a little–okay, very–late). The great “Down Under” has produced many quality folk-pop singer-songwriters, but with these two bands/musicians, Australia proves that it can churn out more than just sentimental and glitter-infused tracks. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a sucker for that kind of music; it’s just good to know there’s diversity.)
Australia is also home to quality psych-rock bands like Tame Impala and bluesy sirens a la Abbe May.
FOR FANS OF: Late 60s rock, MGMT, Wolfmother, Wolf & Cub
Wait, what’s this? Fuzzed out psychedelic rock frenzy that doesn’t come from California? Cannot compute.
Surprise, surprise. Well, actually, don’t be too surprised if you find Tame Impala‘s debut full-length, Innerspeaker, on some of the year-end “best of” lists. This Sydney four-piece has a vintage 60s psych-rock sound that sounds like something blissed out hippies would listen to while smoking some not-so-legal substances. Actually, their album sort of reminds me of something that would have been put out around the time of the The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.
However, Kevin Parker (the band’s frontman) explained in an interview with Eye Weekly that they really prefer to see their music as something futuristic with a touch of vintage.
“We like to call it pseudo-electronic, because it’s meant to have kind of a repetitive groove. With the album, I wanted to make something that had the same kind of textures and sounds as ’60s music, but presented in the way it might be sampled by some kind of trip-hop artist like Portishead or something.”
Give Innerspeaker a listen. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. The production is really quite exquisite, and they really know how to play with stereo-panning, so it’s best listened to loud and with earphones.
For those drug-free music lovers, not to worry–other substances really aren’t necessary at all; listening to Tame Impala’s album already feels like one really long drug-induced trip.
FOR FANS OF: Jack White, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather, Grace Potter (& the Nocturnal)’s darker drunk rock’n'roll sister, old school blues
I confess I only found out about Abbe May a couple days ago, but I was completely blown over watching clips of her live performances on YouTube. (Thank God for the Internet.) This girl makes gritty good ‘ol blues rock at its finest, and it may not look like it, but she has a mighty powerful snarl. Like the female counterpart to Jack White, she has complete control over her craft, and I can’t believe they haven’t already collaborated. (Jack, you might want to call the girl up!)
Not new to the Australian music circuit, this Perth native already has a couple LPs and EPs to her name under various incarnations: The Devil and Abbe May, Abbe May and the Rockin’ Pneumonia, and just plain Abbe May.
While she has been recognized for her immense talent in her homeland, where she has won Best Female Vocalist at the WAMis (West Australian Music Industry Awards) an unprecedented four years in a row, it’s a shame Abbe May hasn’t caught on in North America. However, with the release of “Mammalian Locomotion,” the first single off her forthcoming album of the same name, it looks like 2011 could finally be her time.
Her buddies, Kevin Parker and Cam Avery (of Tame Impala), have remixed her latest single into a version that is has a wispy eeriness to it (free download below). Don’t forget to check out the original version of “Mammalian Locomotion” here! Give her a chance to woo you, because this bluesy siren is sure to charm you with her steely gaze and sensual, husky vocals.
[WATCH]: Abbe May – Costanza (Live at RocKwiz, 2008) [YES--this is LIVE, folks.]