It’s been 32 years since John Lennon’s passing, but his influence lives on. Two artists, both with new albums out this month, uncannily conjure memories of the late Beatle — Tame Impala and Ty Segall.
The Australian psych-rock band Tame Impala and California garage hero Ty Segall both share an affinity for late-1960s, early-1970s rock, but their respective sounds are very different. Tame Impala specializes in full-bodied, trippy studio wizardry, full of reverb and sound effects. The sound is developed with incredible care, all the way down to the deep, booming tom drums. Don’t even bother listening without good headphones. Ty Segall, on the other hand, relies on raw guitar distortion, devoid of any adornment. With Tame Impala, think Led Zeppelin. With Ty Segall, think the Kinks.
So where does John Lennon come in? Well, as for Tame Impala, frontman Kevin Parker sounds remarkably like him. Listen up.
The similarities between Ty Segall and John Lennon are a little more subtle. It’s not so much his voice as his songwriting. Admittedly, it’s more difficult to see the resemblance with Segall, especially when he goes into attack mode with his garage rock assaults. Lennon rocked hard sometimes, but not that hard. But here’s the thing: Segall isn’t just a one-trick pony. When he calms down a bit, his songwriting is actually pretty melodic. Check out “Goodbye Bread,” the title track from Segall’s release last year. This could have been a long lost outtake from the White Album sessions, don’t you think? Imagine John singing it (no pun intended).
Of course, Parker and Segall have a long way to go to reach legend status (Lennon-style), but their musical output so far has been immensely enjoyable. Check out their latest albums — Lonerism by Tame Impala, and Twins by Ty Segall. Keep on trucking, guys. Just remember that if you match Lennon’s legend, he’s a jealous guy.