When I went to Fremantle, Western Australia to write about Tame Impala for this issue's cover story, I was tired constantly. Flying almost thirty hours will do that to you. One evening, while the band was rehearsing, I stepped outside to get some air (and buy some toothpaste). Fremantle was lit by this ultra bright winter sun and the streets were mostly filled with people going home, kids and groceries in tow. I went for a walk, listening to "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" on repeat. I had this dumb theory that if I listened enough, life in Fremantle would sync up with the song. Maybe it was the jetlag, or maybe it actually happened—but pretty soon it looked like people were walking in lockstep to Kevin Parker's beat, which is built on a stuttered keyboard melody and snappy bass, before it degrades into lush drum fills and fuzzed-out guitar, Parker repeating It feels like I only go backwards/ every part of me says go ahead/ I got my hopes up again (oh no, not again)/ feels like we only go backwards. Though I was dazed and confused and definitely exhausted, the song felt like a reality check for me—as life changing as you can reasonably call a song you didn't write yourself is life changing. I'm not trying to be hyperbolic, I'm just saying that sometimes when circumstance aligns with art, it causes a legitimate change in perspective. Deep down it's why we all listen to music, and it's something worth searching for. "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" is on Lonerism, which is out today on Modular. It'll also appear on a 7-inch with a cover from Young Dreams and remixes from Memory Tapes and Madlib, which is a great call. That'll be out 11/16 in Australia, 11/19 in UK/Europe and 11/20 in the US.
Photographer Claire Martin
October 09, 2012