Tame Impala concert in Madrid from Wikimedia Commons
Vera van Nuenen
After five long years of waiting, Tame Impala came out with a brand new album called “The Slow Rush.” This time it is more melancholic than ever.
Kevin Parker, the man behind the musical project Tame Impala, decided in the end of 2019 that he couldn’t make the original deadline due to a lack of creativity and postponed the album release to Feb. 14- Valentine’s Day.
This seems to be a good decision since the 12 tracks of The Slow Rush have all creative aspects imagined. The creative aspects were developed in a rented beach house in the US instead of Parker’s home country Australia. He opened up and said he would do things that make him uncomfortable (such as getting stoned in public) to get new inspiration.
Tame Impala got recognition and fame after their third album “Currents” in 2015 came out. With their psychedelic and electronic sounds, they added something new and interesting to the music industry.
Their new album “The Slow Rush,” can be seen as a sequel on the previous album; it has the same smooth psychedelic sounds. This time, it has less adrenaline-filled highs and has more ballad-like songs. This matches the theme of the album, which is focused on passing time.
Making a conceptual album was not the intention of Parker, but elements of this concept of passing time can be interpreted through the whole album, beginning with the song called “One More Year” and ending with “One More Hour.”
“One More Year,” for example, is about realizing that you have found yourself in some kind of way, referring to Parker getting married and realizing certain things in life are like a routine.
The album, as Parker states in an interview with Interscope Records, is about nostalgia and regret, and how we almost get consumed by it. Nostalgia can be seen as a drug that we get addicted to.
This nostalgia is not only recognizable in the theme of the album, but also in the compositions of the songs as well.
Due to the rich compositions of the songs, which are all produced by Parker, it cannot be put within one single genre. “The Slow Rush” is genre-bending and has influences of electronic music, house and techno, but also of soul, early prog and R&B.
Those influences of older genres make the songs sound from an earlier age and give the listener a melancholic feel. “Borderline” channels the melancholic feels of the 70’s with its rhythmic disco vibes, where “Glimmer” is more a house track. And on the other side there are “Breathe Deeper” and “Lost in Yesterday” which are influenced by funk.
Due to the complicated compositions, it is easy to get lost in the different layers of technicolor and groovy sound. Most of the songs are extremely detailed and full of instrumental loops.
Some are recognizable from earlier music since Parker is crafting classical parts of other songs. These long songs full of instrumental loops are the trademark of Tame Impala.
Earlier, they announced singles “Lost in Yesterday” and “Might Be Time” play with the freedom of an adrenaline high instrumental loop at the end of their songs and catch the listener by surprise.
When you listen to this ethereal album, prepare to let the music take you in.