The elephant references in Tame Impala’s 2012 single of the same name may be metaphors for a proud, pathetic, would-be celebrity, but children’s music band The Wiggles also knows that they can’t cover the song for their intended audience without getting a bit more literal and having one of the band members wear a big elephant head costume in the process.
In a somewhat surprising entry to Triple J’s Like A Version cover series, The Wiggles recorded a performance of “Elephant” that’s very faithful to the original, right up until it takes a brief detour to describe how tasty fruit salad is to listeners.
At first, we just get a pretty straightforward rendition of the Tame Impala track that’s set apart mostly by some deep baritone verses and a bass player swinging a felt elephant trunk around. Partway through, though, The Wiggles pay homage to the hits that made them, tossing in a few psych-y verses of their classic ode to the yumminess of fruit salad. The only missed opportunity is having another member of the band play while wearing impala horns.
In an interview about the cover, we learn that The Wiggles chose “Elephant” because they both wanted to celebrate Tame Impala and, perhaps more importantly, because “The Wiggles love animals and ... we like elephants.” No purer reasons could exist.
If The White Stripes ever get together for a reunion, we hope Jack or Meg take note of this performance: Any elephant-adjacent track can be improved by having at least one of the people playing it encase their head in a fuzzy costume modelled after the animal.
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