Music Video Review: Tame Impala – ‘The Less I Know The Better’


Rife with sexual imagery and jealousy manifested in a gorilla, the video artfully presents a world of psychedelic colours and fluidity.

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Awash with subtly psychedelic colours and a dreamy 80s high school backdrop, Tame Impala’s video for ‘The Less I Know The Better’, one of the standout tracks on latest album Currents, will leave you in a haze of pretty colours and bizarre imagery.

The video centres on the interplay between three characters, a boy, a girl, and a gorilla named Trevor – an embodiment of one of the opening lines, “she was holding hands with Trevor.” The video elucidates the male protagonists jealous fears of his girlfriend copulating with another guy, but in this case the guy in question is a gorilla (or, at least, a guy in a gorilla suit). In a scene depicting oral copulation between the two characters, the male’s hands become displaced by the hairy, black hands of a gorilla, before his head is fluidly replaced by a basketball between the akimbo legs of the female.

As the upbeat twangs of the track come into play, they are juxtaposed with spinning ribbons, a band of cheerleaders dressed in psychedelic, colourful outfits, spinning ribbons. This is probably the most normal part of the video. The dancing perfectly marries with the disco tone set by the opening, until our female protagonist is thrown into the air, to be replaced with falling sheds of black gorilla hair. The hair fluidly leads us on to the next scene, depicting the male protagonist as he follows the light in a gym locker to a bedroom scene that shows the female sitting in the palm of a giant gorilla. Surely a nod to King Kong, the jolting image causes the male to vomit.

As red vomit flows from his mouth, it drips down onto a black backdrop as red paint, with added colours matching the cheerleader outfits seen earlier in the video. The paint creates the form of a woman, dripping in colour, the ultimate sexual object. This allows a focus on shiny, dripping paint that wouldn’t be out of place on one of the band’s album covers. What follows is a myriad of scenes depicting the cheerleaders dancing with fragmented elements of a giant gorilla, before the video dissolves into a captivating cartoon segment.

The cartoon sequence brings together all of the imagery of the video: the gorilla, cheerleaders, sex, and basketball. Fast-paced and technicolour, it’s as bizarre as it is enticing. A standoff between the male protagonist and Trevor the gorilla concludes the video, as he beats off his girlfriend’s lover with his balls (basketballs, that is).

‘The Less I Know The Better’ video is bizarre, artful, fluid and colourful. It’s exactly what you want to spill from the imagination of a Tame Impala track.

‘The Less I Know The Better’ is available to buy now. Watch the music video here.


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Third year English student, Records Editor, list maker and lover of Kinder Buenos.

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