Background

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards is the second single from Tame Impala’s Grammy-nominated album released in 2012, Lonerism.

The cover artwork for the single features the work of Leif Podhajsky, an Australian art director and graphic designer. Podhajsky designed the artwork of Lonerism and Tame Impala’s 2010 debut studio album, Innerspeaker. He also created album art for bands such as Of Monsters And Men, Young Magic, and Bonobo.

The abstract cover art of Leif Podhajsky goes well with the visual style used in the music video for the song.

Leif Podhajsky

Composition

Feels Like We Only Go Backwards begins with a lone bass and repeating piano, but it soon gives way to Kevin Parker, whose voice effortlessly glides above the track. A Hammond organ provides a gentle bed of sound for the other instruments to rest on. The fill patterns used for the drums subtly change each time the chorus plays. The bass guitar wanders throughout the song, occasionally syncing with the bass drum as if it were a suggestion. Lo-fi effects and reverb add depth and space to the final section of the song.

Music Video

Becky and Joe (the artist handle of Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling) directed the music video made up from over 1000 separate handmade plasticine collages. Tame Impala’s video features an art style similar to works from the 1970s.  At the beginning, swirls of loud colors give way to the words TAME IMPALA.  Whenever the song arrives at the chorus, a head repeatedly fades into itself while everything around it flows, flickers, and shifts.  The mesmerizing video is full of abstract shapes, flickering patterns, and waves of color.

The painstaking attention to detail shows as the music video takes you on an acid trip which goes perfectly with Tame Impala’s song.