Kevin Parker is Australia’s hottest commodity at the moment. Country-wide, no muso will argue against his skill when it comes to production, instrumentals, vocals, and banter. Talent draws collaborators and by now the Tame Impala frontman has several other musical projects under his belt. Here are ten of our absolute favourites.
Kevin Parker is more than the genius behind Tame Impala. We take a look at KP’s ten greatest other musical endeavours, to find out why he is so god damn hot right now.
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Melody’s Echo Chamber was born in 2010, with Kev taking on a bold collab with French artist Melody Prochet. Previously My Bee’s Garden, Melody’s Echo Chamber transformed into this delicious space pop with just the right lick of French sass and dirty rock threads.
Kev’s signature reverb and four dimensional spin is all over it like a rash, but the feminine whisper Melody drapes over the whole thing takes Kevin’s artistry to a different sphere of mystical that his work with Tame Impala hasn’t visited with female vocals. Distinct, colourful and dripping in the sweet nectar of sensuality. Melody’s Echo Chamber is golden.
POND and Tame Impala have been strutting the yellow brick road hand in hand. With shared members including Nick Allbrook and Jay Watson, and of course our very own friend Kev. In fact, all but one of the Tame boys have kicked it with POND at one point or another. After briefly playing drums with the group, Kevin Parker has taken to producing their work including Man It Feels Like Space Again, probably the most Tame Impala record of all non-Tame albums Parker has been involved in.
Although many have argued, including Nick Allbrook, that POND and Tame Impala are completely different sounding acts, Kevin Parker manages to slip in the signature fuzzy reverb, echoing silences and groovy layers which we love so much, without taking from the integrity of the acts he works with. A true master.
Perth is killing it. WA export Koi Child have powered ahead with a fresh and uplifting brand of psych pop that has attracted Kevin Parker to their work. The trip-hop jazz crew affectionately considers Parker ‘Uncle Kevin’ after he worked with them to produce their latest self-titled album.
Although Parker passed this off (according to the band) as ‘nothing at all’, having a force this big behind your first album is sure to ensure some heads turn and Koi Child is definitely a million miles ahead of the game. Bursting with percussive world rhythms and funked attitude all the way across the galaxy our fav tracks include Black Panda, Slow One and Frangipani.
Side note… Nick Allbrook’s sassy AF cameo in the music vid for Black Panda is so fucking fly….
Kevin Spacey… Golden Triangle Municipal Funk Band… AAA Aardvark…?
American Beauty, House of Cards and Kevin Parker. Well… Kev and Tame Impala bassist Cam Avery. Born of a heroically spontaneous gig to raise money for a friend in need, Kevin Spacey was born quickly and didn’t seem to last long but the footage is still making the rounds. With a few reincarnations as Golden Triangle Municipal Funk Band and AAA Aardvark in 2014, we do not yet know whether Kevin Spacey is going to emerge again but boy, can we dream.
Mink Mussel Creek
Mink Mussel Creek is a superfood salad of a band. Of course the quinoa is Kevin P, but alongside him the activated almond Nick Allbrook, the shredded kale and spinach combo of Shiny Joe Ryan on guitar and Steve Summerlin on bass, drizzled over with some silky tahini lemon synth dressing…. aka Richard Ingham. Sounds delicious right?
After releasing extremely long anticipated debut album Mink Mussel Manticore in 2014, MMC have been quietly humming along without any sign of a new release… though a Facebook post in May 2015 hinted that they will eventually dive back into things. With the fast pace of Tame Impala’s banging success, who knows when eventually will be.
For now, we still have our mitts on this album-shaped nugget of brilliance.
Mark Ronson / Kevin Parker
If anyone was at Splendour in the Grass 2015 they will have seen two things… a writer tripping around covered in mud at 1am on a treasure hunt for a lost phone with a bemused ex who knew by that point, it wasn’t worth the trouble…and the musical genius of Kevin Parker and Mark Ronson. Hopefully the second was more profound.
It was the first time Aussies had experienced these two legends in the same line up. Daffodils, Summer Breaking and Leaving Los Feliz are the delicious collaborations of Ronson and Parker, which dropped in the mix of Ronsons’s 2015 album Uptown Funk.
Glitchy, glamorous, pumped with funk, and of course embellished with the oh so familiar scratchy croons of Kevin Parker. Taking ever expected twists into harder and more complex reverbed guitar and bass, Ronson and Parker have proved they are the millennial kings of funk and pop, deserved of all praise. Certainly not the end of the Parker/Ronson journey, we can expect to see more of these geniuses in the future.
Space Lime Peacock
In the same vein as Kevin Spacey, Space Lime Peacock was short lived, but no less profound. They remain a bit of a mystery, but SLP appears to be a collaboration of Tame Impala affiliated artists jumping together when time permits to kick it and create some goodies…relatively prolific on the old Soundcloud, it’s a psych, trance and funk fusion made for those late night hazy wanderings.
That old hot potato game is always so fun and something totally worth engaging in when it comes to talented artists. I am talking of electronic duo Canyons, who have already mixed several Tame tracks. In 2011 Kevin repaid the favour and hit up tracks Tonight and When I See You Again with vocals for the album Keep Your Dreams. With a sneaky cameo in the When I See You Again music video, this relationship has proved to be nothing short of bliss.
Relation Longue Distance
It’s coming as no surprise that Kev Parker is a big fan of the French way, having lived in Paris for a significant period of time, his shabby chic visage and collabs with French artists including Melody Prochet. So is born a new project for Kev in 2013, aptly named Relation Longue Distance alongside French drummer Julien Barbagallo. This, funnily enough, translates to ‘long distance relationship’. Perhaps still kicking around, but as with all Kev’s other side works, always worth a listen.
Being a stylish legend
There’s nothing I love more than a strategically draped mid-width scarf and no one does it better than Kevin Parker, traversing between the classic navy and more daring shades of burnt orange and patterned light blue. KP is the casual accessory king.
Parred with a love of a smart printed shirt, Kevin Parker manages to achieve understated mature bohemian European chic with every passing day, something I am sure most people strive for and may never reach.
For your nonchalance and effortless allure through wardrobe and sound, Kev P, we salute you.