Sean Tippey – Indy Writer
In the mid 1960’s a new type of music was introduced to us from our counterparts “across the pond.” This period of new and exciting music would later be referred to as the “British Invasion.” This is when legendary acts such as Cream, The Who, Rolling Stones, and the holy/sacred/Biblical Beatles invaded America’s airwaves and enlightened us with their sounds.
We are now in the midst of another type of invasion, this time from the “land down under.” Australia and neighboring country New Zealand have been setting the tone for neo-psychedelic/alternative rock for almost five years now.
Leading this movement is a band named Tame Impala. They have been around for 5 to 6 years now and each of their three albums (most recent release being this July) is better than the last. Their lead guitarist and vocalist name is Kevin Parker. He singlehandedly has recorded and produced all three of their albums. Although Parker is the brains behind Tame Impala, it is worth noting that the other guys who play with him on tour are excellent musicians as well.
Jay Watson (keyboard/drums) and Nick Allbrook (guitar) have been alongside Parker since the beginning of Tame Impala. When they’re not recording or touring with him they are working on their own psychedelic side projects, the most notable being Pond. Pond is what some people would consider Tame Impala’s loose cannon cousin. They have similar sound but they have more of a rock band feel to their music. Alongside Pond, Watson has his own band called Gum. They are due for an album later this year after releasing their debut record early last year.
To the east of Australia a band named Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) from New Zealand has been making some noise in the neo-psychedelic/alternative scene. UMO has a genesis that is similar to Tame Impala’s. Ruban Neilson is the lead guitarist and vocalist and he created their first album by playing and recording all the instruments himself and put the EP on Soundcloud. The song Ffunny Ffriends got some attention and within a few months Nielson and a few of his buddies were touring the country. Since then UMO has made three records, the most recent being Multi-Love which was released this spring.
The “land down under” has produced some of the more talented bands in today’s neo-psychedelic/alternative rock scene. Tame Impala, Pond, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra are bands for indie rock fans to remember and check out. Take advantage of the internet and give these great bands a listen on Spotify or watch a music video of theirs on YouTube.