In December of 2020, Rolling Stone Australia released a special edition issue which looks at the 50 Greatest Australian Artists of All Time, paying tribute to the best and most impactful artists in Australian music history. While it would have been easy for the editors and writers of the publication to profess their love of the listed artists, the decision was instead made for those who found themselves inspired by these world-renowned names to share their own testimonials of why these artists deserve to make the list.
In celebration of the issue’s release in December, we’re counting down the full 50 artists and their accompanying testimonials in this ongoing online feature. If you want to get your hands on an physical copy of the magazine, be sure to subscribe now to experience the double-length edition featuring some of Australia’s best and brightest discussing the finest names in local music.
50 Greatest Australian Artists of All Time – #7: Tame Impala (by Stu Mackenzie of King Gizzard And The Wizard Lizard)
“You’ve gotta see this band!” Some friends woke me up at Meredith Music Festival 2008. It was 11am and they’d just started. It had been raining for three straight days and I’d just gone to bed. Wet, muddy, cold, and sleeping in a tent but still drunk, I took the advice and checked out Tame Impala.
Tame, back then, were loose and loud and large. Burning like a white dwarf. The band was on fire. Sound waves vibrating through the rain. Wide-eyed, wide-grinning punters soaked to the skin. Plastic ponchoed pigs in mud. Meanwhile, the band looked like they’d just walked off Scarborough Beach in 1966. I loved it. Like explorers searching for a sound. Or maybe a feeling.
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.
“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.”
Tame has gone supernova since then. Their meticulously-crafted records have encouraged legions of fans to get introspective and really listen to the music. To understand the countless hours that go into crafting an album – and that’s beautiful.
Do yourself a favour. Put on some headphones, turn the lights off and chuck on Lonerism. You could take acid too, if you’d like. But you don’t need to. It’s already psychedelic enough.