Album of the Week
Deep dive into the Grammy award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter’s fourth studio album.
Five years on from their 2015 smash Currents – which saw Tame Impala sky-rocket into festival headline slots and sell-out arenas – the hype around The Slow Rush has been huge. Originally due for release before Coachella 2019, the album has undergone some changes, including being remastered following a listening party last November. The result, which frontman Kevin Parker has performed, recorded and produced himself, has been worth waiting for.
It’s clear that Parker had a lot to think about in recent years, as The Slow Rush wrangles with grief, isolation and loneliness, and perhaps a perfectionist’s worst fear, time itself. While the record combats these with all the usual psychedelic mastery, there’s also the addition of more dance, trance and soul influences.
From the early days of writing and recording in his bedroom to more recent production work and collaborations with Kanye West and Lady Gaga, amongst others, the classic Tame Impala formula – still heavily ingrained into this effort – has merged with even more experimental sounds, dabbling with hip hop and pop inspiration.
No longer featuring last year’s Patience, the album’s first single proper – Borderline – has also been tweaked. The reworked version goes heavy on the synths, set to a hard-hitting drumbeat.
Breathe Deeper has an air of ’90s Ibiza, while tackling ways to stay calm under pressure, or during stressful times.
While the lyrics deal with nostalgia and letting go of the past, Lost In Yesterday has a contrasting poppy and vibrant melody. It Might Be Time explores how people change over time.
In many ways, The Slow Rush feels cathartic for Parker, with a lot of personal insight into his life. Seamless in its flow, it’s weighted by emotional tales of self-preservation and survival.
Posthumous Forgiveness is all synths and funky bass, while Parker details the estranged relationship he had with his father and his struggles in coming to terms with his death. Split into two parts, the second half shifts as the author changes his mind, and instead yearns for his father to be proud of him.
On Track slows things right down, relishing the use of a solitary key, and building steadily to include drums and an organ. It feels as solitary as it is sentimental.
The Slow Rush might have taken its time, but the finished result is perfection – a fresh twist on the classic Tame Impala sound.
Tame Impala will headline London’s All Points East Festival on 23 May 2020. [Find tickets]
1. One More Year
2. Instant Destiny
3. Borderline (Album Version)
4. Posthumous Forgiveness
5. Breathe Deeper
6. Tomorrow’s Dust
7. On Track
8. Lost In Yesterday
9. Is It True
10. It Might Be Time
12. One More Hour
Listen to The Slow Rush on Spotify: