A Guide to Getting High For Tame Impala

We’ve compiled a track-by-track strain pairing with some of the Aussie psychedelic masters' finest songs, so you can make the most of the experience.

From its early days on the Australian coast, playing swirly fuzz rock that channeled Magical Mystery Tour via a Perth garage, on through the evolving psychedelia of Innerspeaker and Lonerism and into the synth-heavy sensuality of Currents, Tame Impala's music has been tailor-made for stoned listening—and watching, given the band's penchant for trippy-ass music videos and live light shows. As such, we've compiled a track-by-track strain pairing with some of the band's finest songs, so you can make the most of the experience.

Song: "Half Glass Full of Wine"

Strain: Strawberry Alien Fire

If there was ever a song for lighting a joint and reliving the '70s in the back of a riverside van, it's this one. The song begins with a high-hat-driven train beat before a jagged two-note guitar riff kicks in, which then drops gears into the engine rumble of a semi leading a convoy. Strawberry Alien Fire sounds like something a '70s trucker would cry out during an extraterrestrial abduction. It's a good fit. Honestly, though, you could smoke about anything and "Half Glass Full of Wine" would rock.

Song: "Elephant"

Strain: Blue Dream

"Elephant" brings to mind Blue Dream, a solid-enough strain that suffers from its sheer ubiquity in the same way that "Elephant" is Tame Impala's most immediately recognizable track (due to its use in a Blackberry commercial) while not necessarily being its finest. Blue Dream is also built for riding the memorably sludgy riff and synth breakdowns throughout, a clash of styles that bridged the band's psychedelic rock origins to its electronica headings and served as a precursor for Currents.

Related: "Smoke This Strain on Sunny Days"

Song: "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"

Strains: Girl Scout Cookies, Blackberry Kush or Orion's Belt

The second single off Lonerism is the most intently kaleidoscopic track on this list—a reeling, spinning dreamscape ideally paired with the body-dense hyperspace travel of heavier, more out-of-body strains. Just blend your strongest indicas in a little bowl and let the bouncy bass and electronic organs spin you away like a scene from the first act of Requiem for a Dream.

Song: "Let It Happen"

Strain: Mt. Hood Magic

The opening track of Currents feints with a hazy wash of sound before the beat and synth Morse code dances in and "Let It Happen" reveals the album as Tame Impala's most pop-friendly and electronica-driven release to date. Despite its immediate toe-tapping rhythm, however, the song's lyrics follow the bliss and dread of succumbing to temptation, which I felt all too well after my third late-night bowl of blueberry Tiny Toast last week. The key in pairing a strain here is finding focus enough to keep the track's manic beat throughout a lengthy runtime that also shifts pace for mind-wandering introspection. Mt. Hood Magic, a cross between Durban Poison and Northern Lights #6, strikes a good balance between physicality and thought, focus and wide eyes.

Related: "Five Anti-Anxiety Cannabis Strains to Try"

Song: "'Cause I'm a Man"

Strain: Dogwalker OG

This is a song you should listen to in solitude, puffing on some Dogwalker OG and reflecting on your own decisions for a while. The denser the Dogwalker, the better to pair with the slow-jam yacht-rock rumble and Kevin Parker's lamentations about being a man who done wrong, his weakness revealed. If you're looking for an alternate viewpoint, Haim's searing remix works as a companion piece pitched from the other side of the gender divide.

Related: "What's Oregon's New Favorite Cannabis Strain?"

Song: "The Less I Know the Better"

Strain: Super Silver Haze

In a catalog stacked with catchy riffs, "The Less I Know the Better" is definitely Tame Impala's sexiest, with a slinking bass run threaded over and around Parker's pop falsetto. The song's lyrical theme is teenage rejection, themes explored brutally in the song's video. Strainwise, Super Silver Haze couples well, offering enough rush to keep listeners on their toes, and enough flow to feel the bass.

Tame Impala plays Sunday at 8:20 pm.

(Amy Churchwell)

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