It was a perfect illusion.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker unapologetically collaborated with Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson to help co-create Gaga’s lead Joanne single, “Perfect Illusion.” Ronson played a bit of the demo at one of his recent gigs, and it features Parker’s vocals and an enchanting production treatment (far lighter than the final version). It’s an entirely separate take from what Gaga ultimately released, and it’s worth your undivided attention.

“Mark was telling me he was gonna work on the Lady Gaga album, and just asked me if I wanted to be a part of it,” Parker said in a 2016 interview with DIYMag. “So obviously I did! It was so left field for me, but because it was Mark I had no hesitation in just diving in headfirst. There was no fear, I knew the project was in good hands with Mark. So yeah, it just went from there.”

“Luckily it wasn’t a room full of people, it was just Gaga and Mark,” he added.

“She is now the first person I’ve ever written lyrics with,” he confesses. “It was getting towards the end of the day, we were deep in that zone, writing lyrics for ‘Perfect Illusion’, and I suddenly realised it was the first time. Gaga commented that I was easy to work with lyrically, we’d bounce ideas off each other really well, and I was like, ‘Y’know this is actually the first time I’ve written lyrics with another person!’ It’s the first time I’ve verbally, physically voiced ideas of how to put lyrics together, and the first time I’ve had a conversation about how this verse, or this line, or this rhyme is going to go together. It’s the first time I’ve ever had that out in the open – normally that whole conversation just happens inside my head. It was quite a weird sensation.”

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