Thundercat & Tame Impala: “No More Lies”

As Thundercat, Stephen Bruner indulges introspection under the cover of virtuosic jazz-funk and offbeat humor. As Tame Impala, Kevin Parker channels his own anxious reflections into studio-perfectionist psych-rock. On new single “No More Lies,” Thundercat’s first original track since 2020, Bruner slots Parker seamlessly into a contemporary L.A. tale of romantic awkwardness, like Insecure with vintage synths. Bruner manages to pull off the rare combination of swagger and self-deprecation; he rhymes “so much to unpack” with “I’m just kind of ass.” Co-songwriter and co-producer Parker, immediately recognizable from his cloudbursts of drums, gamely plays along, moaning, “My troubles are my own… I’ll just be on my own,” to which Bruner interjects, in sumptuous falsetto, “Unless she wants to come back.” But does she? Bruner has long been ready to make himself the butt of a joke so long as he can rip through some mind-melting basslines, and he lightens the mood further with a wryly caddish spoken-word riff about past relationships. Whether or not these guys can muster up a bit more frankness with their love interests—I read in a kids’ book once that the truth is best served with more sugar and less pepper—their way around woozy electro-R&B is no joke.