10 years ago today, Tame Impala released Lonerism, and one of the greatest Australian albums of the 21st century entered the music world for the first time.
The album was hailed as a classic almost immediately – in an admiring review, Pitchfork hailed Lonerism for tapping into “the progressive and experimental spirit of psychedelic rock, and not just the sound” – and a decade later, music is still grappling with its legacy.
In much the same way Kendrick Lamar irrevocably changed modern hip hop with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City in 2012, as Frank Ocean did with R&B on Channel Orange that same year, Kevin Parker’s creation has had an enduring and seismic effect on psychedelic rock.
In a glowing appraisal for Rolling Stone last year, a fellow Australian psychedelic magician, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s Stu Mackenzie, surmised Parker’s brilliance perfectly while recalling seeing Tame Impala for the very first time:
“You know how people talk about that time the Sex Pistols played a show and everyone there started a punk band? Well this was like that. There weren’t many people at the show, but I’m pretty sure they all went home and started a psych band. I did.”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Lonerism, Tame Impala provided a special set at Desert Daze in California last weekend, performing the album in full from front to back.
It meant airings of album tracks for the first time ever – beautiful closer ‘Sun’s Coming Up’ – and performances of other cuts for the first time in a long time – opener ‘Be Above It’ for the first time since 2015 and ‘Music To Walk Home By’ for the first time in six years.
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You can watch the band’s full Desert Daze performance below. In another 10 years’ time, Lonerism will still be rightly celebrated as a 21st century masterpiece.