Having a nose for identifying good up-and-coming bands is a talent that a lot of great musicians seem to share. Over the years, David Bowie exhibited this uncanny knack as he championed a plethora of acts ahead of their heyday, and it would seem that Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys has achieved the same feat on more than just a few occasions.
One of the Sheffield frontman’s early heralding’s came in the form of Tame Impala. In 2014, he even managed to sway the band to play to support them at two huge Finsbury Park shows, which introduced many to the Australian act who were little-known outside of their native land despite amazing psychedelic early efforts.
In the interim years, Tame Impala have been met with the acclaim they deserve, and mainstream success has suitably arrived. In fact, it is safe to say that Kevin Parker has made more than enough of a mark on the sound of this century to call Alex Turner a peer. Like the first Neanderthal to chuck salt in their stew, there has been at least a pinch of his work in everything that has followed.
However, as Parker revealed in an interview with Beats 1, he is still in awe of the Sheffield frontman, describing him as being “in another league” as a songwriter. Before coyly adding, “he can’t play drums as good as me,” and revealing that they live down the street from each other.
“I was in his pool the other day. He wasn’t there at the time,” Parker said, before joking: “I didn’t jump his fence… Yeah. Jumped the fence. No, I didn’t.” This was from back in 2020, and Alex Turner has spent a lot of time in the UK away from Los Angeles of late. However, many have speculated about whether the proximity of the two modern luminaries has led to a possible collaboration on Arctic Monkeys forthcoming album.
Further adding to this speculative pipedream is that the love-in is clearly mutual, with Turner remarking in a 2018 interview also with Beats 1: “I’d love to float with Kevin. I think he’s brilliant. No doubt about that.”
All that aside, it is clear that both artists have been seismic sui generis forces in the century so far, imbuing the sonic zeitgeist with genre-straddling grooves. While Parker may not have approached the lyric zeniths of Turner, as he happily acknowledges himself, both share a kinship for their transitory trailblazing ways of mixing a sonic smorgasbord of delectable music delights for passing fans and aficionados alike. Whatever the creative future holds for the pair, they are likely to remain a mutual inspiration whether anything more direct manifests or otherwise.