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The Less I Know the Better

Tame Impala

About “The Less I Know the Better”

“The Less I Know the Better” describes the pain of a man feeling left out in a love triangle, illustrated with a complex arrangement of groovy bass hooks, sensual Rhodes piano chords, and moody synth textures.

Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker has said that the song doesn’t belong on the album “because it has this dorky, white disco funk.” However, it is by far the most popular track on Currents, thanks in no small part to its breakout music video fusing psychedelia, sex appeal, high school angst, and a man in a gorilla costume.

This track follows the synth vignette “Gossip,” suggesting that the narrator, voiced by Parker, is hearing news about the woman he wants – that she hooking up with someone named Trevor. The song’s title comes from his insecurity – if people give him the details of his crush’s sexual activity, the more it will dominate his thoughts and leave her seemingly defiled in his mind (“is this who you are?”).

As illustrated by the music video’s gorilla, Trevor vs. Kevin appears to be the classic “alpha-beta” struggle for women’s affections. Trevor has her attention for now because of his sexual prowess (he is her “lover… like every night”), but she knows that Parker would be the better long-term partner (“Wait ten years, we’ll be together”). However, Kevin warns her that his patience will not last “forever.”

  • What have the artists said about the song?

    I just remember sitting alone in my home studio, a little studio, because I was between houses, and making the demo of the song in about half an hour. Like I had the chords and the melody and I was just thinking, “It needs a gnarly bass riff.”

    The way that I know I’ve done a new riff that is cool, is if my hands don’t want to do it. If you let your hands do the thinking, it will just be the same old shit. But yeah, that bass riff – it’s actually a guitar with an octave pedal – but that very take is the one that’s used in the whole song.

    Kevin Parker in an interview with Noisey.

"The Less I Know the Better" Track Info

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