Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
My father owned two motorcycles when we were growing up. They weren't anything too special. They weren't souped up or power machines, by any stretch of the imagination, but he would back them out of the barn every so often, gas them up and ask us if we wanted to go for a ride. We always did and that meant that we'd get an un-helmeted trip down the asphalt back roads to look at how the crops were growing, with our index fingers curled around a belt loop on each side of dad's jeans. It was always fantastic weather when we'd do this and, really, it had to be, but it was almost as if the motorcycles brought out the pleasant conditions and the swelling, burnt out sunsets. A similar sensation tends to come over me when Tame Impala's album, "Innerspeaker," begins to play. It's as if suddenly there is a day gone right staring you in the face and nothing else matters. "Innerspeaker" is a record that makes me want to go out and buy my own motorcycles, to take my own children on rides, to let the speed rip just enough that it feels abnormally fast for a change, with the noise from the machine's roar blurring out anything else that might be happening in the ditches or in our heads. It's as if Tame Impala has cornered a market for giving people the thrill of high speeds and beautifully scenic rides - their songs causing your head to fuzz out of balance and synchronize completely with what it might mean to experience perfect light and perfect air and perfect sound. The band from Perth, Australia, just makes you want to hop on your motor bike and try with all of your might to see if it's possible to drive it straight up that leafy tree or that mountain over there, just for the thrill of it. It's music - with its pitch and tone that reminds us of listening to old Beatles and Air records, simultaneously on separate turntables, in the heart of the autumn months. It reminds us of how a sunshine and water-grown golden crisp apple tastes as well as romantic scent of wood burning in the brisk twilight of days that are now growing shorter and less tolerable. It's music that makes you feel that sensation of the wind bashing you against the pant legs and whistling over your chilled cheeks as you move swiftly down the road, with no glass or metal surrounding you and keeping you shielded. You feel as if you're right out there in the elements and they're doing everything right, they're treating you well.