Musical Analysis of “The Less I Know the Better” by Tame Impala


The Less I Know The Better – Tame Impala – Kevin Parker – 2015, Australia


A friend of mine introduced this song was to me last winter. I had been listening to another song in which I particularly liked the bass line, so he recommended that I try Tame Impala. This song has an original bass pattern that jumps around a large range but keeps a repeated rhythm. It walks through the chord progressions keeping a continuous presence on the root note (Smith). The percussion and bass work together to emphasize the steady beat. This combined with a smooth high melody creates a pleasing blend of rhythms. My favorite part is when all of the sound cuts out for brief pauses contrasting with the continuous noise of the song.


The overall timbre of the song is smooth, it isn’t aggressive in a get-your-attention kind of way. The melody is light, the bass is full, the drums are present but not overpowering, and the synth in the background fills everything in. The fullness of the sound envelopes my ears in total sensation. I like that there is so much going on, it is comforting like background noise at a busy café.  Even though the melody is clear, the bass competes for a spot in the spotlight. (‘Timbre’).


This song has an intro, verses, and outro; the chord progression changes for a couple of the off verses. I chose not to call the off verses a chorus because it doesn’t have the feeling of a true chorus. It doesn’t repeat the same lyrics, however this makes the song more real to me. The song tells a story of a jealous love after a break up, the repetition of the song seems appropriate since past feelings continue to come up despite trying to move on.


Smith, Jon. “Beginner’s Guide to Writing Better Bass Lines.” Music & Audio Envato Tuts+, 4 Apr. 2014,–cms-19879

“Timbre.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Jan. 2018,





9 thoughts on “Musical Analysis of “The Less I Know the Better” by Tame Impala

  1. I’ve never heard this song before. It has a 70s feel to it. The beat is catchy. You explained the elements you chose for this analysis well. The only thing I would say is proofread before posting. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


  2. This song has a nice little groove (rhythm) to it. The emphasis on the base provides a funky undertone while the melody lures you in an upbeat playful manner. If I heard this song cruising down the strip, I would definitely stop in my tracks to find where the sound is coming from. It almost guarantees a great time.


  3. Hey Evan! I’ve never heard this song before and I loved it! It gives me a chill vibe, something I can listen to while studying or relaxing. After listening I added to my Spotify playlist. The lyrics are crazy and little sad because the guy was in love it seemed but I like listening to songs with actual feeling and meaning instead of non-sense. Great choice and good luck this semester!


  4. This song makes me feel so many things, I love it! It has a super funky melody that captures you the very second that the music starts and has a very nostalgic feel of classic skateboard videos to it which I equally love.
    I really enjoy that the timbre is not dramatic but rather a very smooth overall sound with each instrument pairing smoothly together.
    This would be a great song to ride down a mountain to – not distracting in the slightest and the beat will hold your concentration. Great choice!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s