TAME IMPALA play the Phoenix on November 12. See listing. Rating: NNNN
As easy as it is to describe Australia's Tame Impala with hyphenated genre epithets like "neo-psychedelia" or "stoner-dream-pop," the band describes its sound best in a song title from their new LP - Music To Walk Home By. Bandleader Kevin Parker has an obvious knack for pop hooks, not to mention an uncanny vocal resemblance to John Lennon, but this is headphone music in the purest sense. Immersive, textural and deceptive, it draws you in with warm reverb and dreamy melodies until you suddenly realize you've been zoning out, lost in the spacious drift.
Themes of isolation and solipsism unfold musically as much as lyrically. Produced with help from Flaming Lips go-to guy Dave Fridmann, Lonerism surprises with layers of detail - the percussive "got to be above it" whisper on the opening track, the dark synth melodies behind the guitars - as it burrows into your subconscious. Even the most immediate song, the awesomely crunchy Elephant, eventually turns into a mesmerizing jam.
Top track: Elephant