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(Credit: Abby Gilliardi)

Music

The song Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker wishes he had written

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker doesn’t just have a slew of songs under his belt these days, he also has a corner of modern music coned off. Of all the acts to emerge in the last decade or so, Parker is without a doubt one of the most influential. You hear Tame Impala’s honed wavy sound everywhere.

And one place you can certainly be thankful for that is at festivals. The psychedelic sounds of the band fit festival season like a thermos flask fits Sunday morning’s frozen pitch. Visceral enough to get the crowd bouncing in due time, yet laidback enough to let you hang out at the back and be coaxed into the welter, Parker and co are proverbial sunshine music merchants. 

However, they aren’t the only ones. In fact, Nile Rodgers seems to be some sort of living embodiment of the festival season. He crops up on bills everywhere to add smiles to sunburnt faces like the summertime Saint Nicholas. Amid his sack of sonic presents is one that Parker finds himself eternally envious of. Naturally, it’s a classic of the ages that you’ve been shuffling your feet to since you were first in pantaloons.

The track that the Aussie rocker opted for when NME asked him which song he wishes he had written was ‘September’ by Earth, Wind & Fire in a sure-fire show of moron-defiance and a display of class and taste that is brimming within his own cracking, tie-dye swirl of a back catalogue. “It’s super-groovy party vibes,” he said.

Adding: “If you had a song like that in your arsenal, you could just bust it out and it would be instant good times. It would be like a secret weapon—a button you could push. If you were playing a gig and it was super cold, you could start playing that.” Indeed, it is the sort of anthem that has been known to shift clouds from above mainstages and turn a grumpy soul who has lost their pals into a stranger-hugging happy zen figure. 

The song’s carefree essence was even borne out in its recording process. As singer Allee Willis said of the song’s inception: “I absolutely could not deal with lyrics that were nonsensical, or lines that weren’t complete sentences. And I’m exceedingly happy that I lost that attitude. I went, ‘You cannot leave bada-ya in the chorus, that has to mean something.’ Maurice said, ‘No, that feels great. That’s what people are going to remember. We’re leaving it.’ We did try other stuff, and it always sounded clunky – thank God.”

Parker is fittingly another artist who records with feel and then lets everything else pour in thereafter, so perhaps there is something cosmic beyond the simple boon of the track that makes him wish he was the artist behind it. Don’t we all! 

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