Tame Impala (photo by Neil Krug, PR)
The Slow Rush
Tame Impala is a one-man powerhouse in the studio, driven by Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. Over the past decade, starting with a self-titled 2008 EP and a 2010 debut album, Innerspeaker, Parker has boldly embodied a dense, gorgeously layered, psychedelic dream pop. But with 2012's Lonerism, and 2015's Currents, Parker's music organically grew, warmly embracing a dancier, sweetened pop side. After a five-year break, Parker has finally released his fourth album, The Slow Rush.
Parker’s rising star hasn't just been about chart success, sales and streams, festival headliners and high-profile gigs (like "Saturday Night Live"). He's also become an in-demand collaborator, producing and writing for artists like Lady Gaga, A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, Mark Ronson, SZA and more. As a result, Parker stepped into the writing of The Slow Rush with invaluable experience and confidence from those collaborations — and a different idea about what he wanted to do moving forward.
But while Tame Impala's global popularity and musical palette have flourished, the Perth and Los Angeles-based Parker adheres to his perfectionism, mostly writing, recording and producing his music entirely on his own. That stringent level of excellence that Parker has set for himself delayed the release of The Slow Rush, but the wait was worth it for both Parker and his fans.
Parker writes music meant for both headphones and the dance floor. Dance beats and oceans of reverb are front and center on The Slow Rush and Parker creates a technicolor mood with “One More Year," a lush album opener with heavily synthesized, swirling voices and an infectious beat.
A healthy dose of disco pulses throughout “Is It True” and “Glimmer” is pure dance floor ecstasy. One of the album's catchiest grooves comes via “Breathe Deeper,” which shimmers for six sunny minutes before slipping to the equally dazzling “Tomorrow’s Dust.” The smooth and sweet “On Track” keeps the soulful vibe afloat.
But The Slow Rush isn’t all mind-bending synths and grooves. Parker leaves space to take stock with very personal songs, as on “Lost In Yesterday,” a rolling funk number framed by a nostalgia that dots the album. Perhaps the best example of Parker’s reminiscences is heard in “Posthumous Forgiveness" which delves into the tumultuous relationship the musician had with his late father.
Tame Impala creates movement with a message: celestial sonics, euphoric beats, and surreal images and sentiments. Parker's mastery of the hazy psychedelia of his past has led to a futuristic pop. The Slow Rush is a deeply satisfying, kaleidoscopic journey — music for the mind and the body.
Tame Impala's The Slow Rush is release on Friday, February 14.