Tame Impala have covered Edwyn Collins’ 1994 hit single ‘A Girl Like You’ for Triple J’s Like A Version in Perth.
‘A Girl Like You’ was a solo smash from 1995 for the Scottish singer Collins. Parker, backed by Jay Watson (aka GUM) and Don Simper (aka Bambi) were quite faithful to the original, even retaining the woozy vocal filter, perhaps surprising given their fondness for experimentation.
After the performance, Parker gushed about his love of Collins’ original, revealing that he’d loved it since his teenage years.
“For me it’s a really emotive song,” he said. It’s kind of bluesy and soulful, but for me melodically it’s more than that. It’s a really unique song because it doesn’t sound like it’s from any one particular time.”
“I remember the very first time I heard the song, I was being driven, sitting in the backseat. I think my friend’s mum was driving us home and it was late at night, and we’d been at a school excursion to Sci-Tech (a science information centre in Perth) and I just remember that vividly.”
Parker also explained the sound of the trio setup Tame Impala have been playing with, due to coronavirus border closures in Western Australia.
“I wanted to make it sound a little more like a Chemical Brothers remix. A lot of the stuff we’ve been doing with this setup has been like that. Even with our own songs, it sounds like a remix and more electronic,” he said.
It’s been a great end to 2020 for Tame Impala. They won five ARIA awards, including the top prizes for Best Album and Best Group. The Slow Rush was also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the Grammys.
It’s a lovely bit of exposure for Collins. He fronted Orange Juice, one of the most influential indie bands of the 20th century. In 1980’s Glasgow, a working-class landscape blighted by Thatcherism and bloated by skinheads, the twee and fearlessly idiosyncratic jangle pop of Collins’ band was a breath of fresh air. Much like The Velvet Underground, their influence on the future of guitar music belied their actual commercial success.
After going solo, ‘A Girl Like You’ was by far Collins’ biggest single, reaching number four in the U.K. singles chart.