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Kevin Parker Reflects on 10th Anniversary of Tame Impala’s Lonerism

Group performed the album in full last weekend at the Desert Daze festival
Tame Impala at Desert Daze 2022. Photo: Eric Tra

Kevin Parker has taken to Instagram to reflect on the 10th anniversary of Tame Impala‘s second album, Lonerism, which was originally released on Oct. 5, 2012. The group performed Lonerism in its entirety at a special one-off show on Saturday at the Desert Daze festival in Lake Perris, Calif.

“Difficult to sum up what the album means to me at this point,” Parker wrote. “It was a pretty special time for me making the music. In a way it’s when I truly discovered myself as an artist. Coming off the back of Innerspeaker, I had this new sense of purpose … calling … whatever you want to call it. I had finally given myself permission to let music take over my being completely … to become totally immersed in my own world of recording music. So I had this new sense of creative freedom. I felt free to be ambitious, weird, pop, experimental, whatever, and didn’t feel judged because I was finally just doing it for myself and believed in myself. For the most part anyway … of course the day came to release it and it all came crashing down and I thought the album sucked and couldn’t even imagine people enjoying it. As it turns out, I was wrong … the album dropped and exceeded all my expectations and my life changed massively again, and I slowly realized the music was pretty good, again, which gave me a new sense of purpose, and the cycle starts again.”

In a separate post, Parker reminded fans that the album was originally titled Loner Pop “until after it had been mastered and sent off for production.” He recalled “sitting in the courtyard outside my apartment in Paris” and realizing he “didn’t think [he] got the title quite right. Suddenly the world ‘lonerism’ popped into my head and it was obvious that was the one.” Parker called Glen Goetze, his A&R rep at Modular Recordings, and “begged him to stop the press and have it changed. The CDs must have already gone into production because all the first pressings say Loner Pop when you put them in a CD player.”

Parker also said the reason there’s a scarcity of footage or photos of him recording Lonerism is because he “wasn’t exactly dying to get in front of a camera back then. My friend and photographer Sav came round a couple of times to take some photos and film me messing around in the studio, and that’s basically all there is (which is why I’m wearing that purple t-shirt and green jeans in all of them).”

Lonerism was nominated for the best alternative album Grammy and was Tame Impala’s first release to appear on The Billboard 200, where it reached No. 34. It includes two of the group’s best-known songs, “Elephant” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.”

Tame Impala will tour in New Zealand and Australia beginning Oct. 15 in Auckland. No live activity has yet been announced for 2023, although Parker and company appear on “New Gold” from the forthcoming Gorillaz album Cracker Island, which will be released Feb. 24.