Tame Impala's The Slow Rush: What You Need To Know
Five years on from the release of third album Currents and a full decade since the arrival of their debut LP, Australian purveyors of psychedelia Tame Impala – aka the recording project of Kevin Parker – return this week with their fourth full-length effort.
First announced in October last year, new album The Slow Rush makes its long-awaited arrival in stores today. Here's everything you need to know...
A little background...
Parker first began talking up a fourth Tame Impala album in the summer of 2018, telling Beats 1 in July of that year that he'd be “very disappointed” if it hadn't been released by the following summer. Although new songs did begin to emerge early in 2019 - including 'Borderline', which appears on the new album – summer came and went, with no new album to be seen.
Parker hasn't been specific about the reasons for the delay, but it was reported that the house he rented in California in the latter half of 2018 into work in isolation on the new record was caught in the wildfires that devastated the area. The house, along with approximately £30,000 of recording equipment, went up in smoke like many others in the neighbourhood, although fortunately, Parker was able to escape to a nearby beach.
How much of an impact that has had on the album's creation we can only guess, but Parker did later state in another interview with Apple Music that despite the five-year gap that followed Currents, the recording process for its follow-up had been the quickest of any album he's worked on to date.
Who's producing it?
As always, Kevin Parker is the man with his hands on the controls.
Any special guests?
Nope. Parker has featured as a guest on plenty of records by other artists, including the likes of Mark Ronson and Mini Mansions, but there has yet to be a guest feature on any of Tame Impala's albums and that trend continues here.
What does it sound like?
If you've been following Tame Impala's output since the beginning, you'll no doubt have noticed the gradual shift away from the fuzzy guitars that propelled much of their debut album InnerSpeaker towards an altogether more ethereal type of psychedelia. By the time third album Currents arrived, the guitars had almost completely disappeared from view, save for a couple of notable exception on tracks like 'The Less I Know The Better' and 'Disciples'.
Broadly speaking, The Slow Rush continues on that trajectory, retaining and often expanding on the dreamy feel of its predecessor while pulling in a dizzying range of influences. There are, for example, echoes of both Supertramp and Quincy Jones on 'It Might Be Time' and hints of Stevie Wonder in the shuffling groove of 'Lost in Yesterday'.
Elsewhere, though, the reference points are harder to spot as Parker weaves various elements into the otherworldly yacht rock of 'Borderline', which gets an update on the version released as a single last year, and the cosmic sprawl of 'Posthumous Forgiveness'.
Lyrically, as Parker has mentioned in recent interviews, The Slow Rush seems preoccupied with the themes of memory and the passing of time, especially on songs such as 'Lost in Yesterday' and 'Tomorrow's Dust', making the album one of his most reflective yet.
Does it deliver?
While there will no doubt be some fans who still pine for the fuzzed-up guitars of Tame Impala's early work, Kevin Parker has long since freed himself of the stylistic shackles which often weigh down bands of that type – if indeed they ever constrained him in the first place.
Parker has established himself as one of the most restlessly creative minds of the last decade and, on this evidence, he's not done pushing the boundaries yet.
The Slow Rush is available in stores now - you can also find it here in our online store.