Everything We Know About Tame Impala’s ‘The Slow Rush’ So Far
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
On October 25th, Tame Impala fans were informed that after a five-year wait they were finally getting a follow-up to 2015’s Currents. Tame’s fourth album was titled The Slow Rush and it would be arriving Valentine’s Day 2020. Here’s everything we know about it so far.
It Was Delayed
Parker initially predicted the album would arrive mid-2019. The plain fact of the matter though is that it didn’t. Despite the appearance of two singles ‘Patience’ and ‘Borderline’ the North American summer festival season flew past and still there was no record. One reason for the wait was that Parker simply couldn’t manage to ease himself into the right creative headspace. In an interview with Huck magazine in July Parker commented on this, noting that the more power and control he has over his music and the more freedom he was given by his record label, the harder he found it to finish things. Parker also expressed that he often worked his best when he’s feeling “worthless”, a state of mind which he has been finding hard to muster riding the successes of Currents. “The ironic thing is, if I’m feeling on top of the world or feeling confident or like everything’s good, I don’t have the urge to make music,” he told the New York Times in May.
While He Was Making The Album His House Burned Down
Another delay came when a house Parker had rented in Malibu, California so that he could record in isolation burnt down in a forest fire that tore through the region in November 2018. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and so too was Parker’s rental. Kevin escaped to a nearby beach in the nick of time, but two hours after he made his escape the house and $40,000 worth of recording equipment were burnt to ashes. While Parker hasn’t stated this to be significant setback, it can’t have helped.
The Album Follows An Intense Period of Touring
While Tame Impala has been quite on the recording side, Kevin and company have been busy solidifying Tame’s reputation as an international touring juggernaut. The band played over 140 shows following the release of Currents in 2015, most notably headlining US megafestival Coachella this year. In this time Parker also worked on album with Mark Ronson. He also collaborated with Kayne West, Travis Scott, Zhu, Lady Gaga, Post Malone and Kali Ulchis. Oh, and was also married long term partner Sophie Lawrence this February.
When It Did Come, It Came Quickly
Eventually, Parker hit his stride. And when he did the record came easy. In an interview with Apple Music Parker stated that despite the long wait between albums, the time period he actually spent working on The Slow Rush is actually the shortest of any Tame Impala record.
‘Borderline’ Will Be On The Album
Of Tame Impala’s two standalone 2019 singles, only ‘Borderline’ will be making it on to The Slow Rush. Second single ‘Patience’ will not be appearing on the album. At least not in its present form.
The third track dropped December 4. It’s the longest on the album clocking in at six minutes and six seconds but really what distinguishes the single is the emotional depth to which Parker takes his listener. Here Kevin interrogates his relationship with late father Jerry. It’s a lyrical journey through his childhood admiration for the man who raised him, the trauma of his parents divorce, the rifts caused by Jerry’s skepticism toward Parker finding a meaningful life in music, Jery’s death from cancer prior to InnerSpeaker and Parker’s remorse that despite their differences his father couldn’t be there to share in some of greatest his successes. The minimalistic approach taken of earlier tracks finally bears fruit, proving the perfect vehicle for Parker’s exploration of his innermost thoughts and feelings.
Supertramp Were An Influence
With Tame playing so many arenas its little wonder Parker’s mind has shifted to the stadium and symphonic rock acts of the 1970s. Supertramp are known to be a favorite of his father Jerry, whose musical taste Kevin seems to have assimilated as his own. Discussing his new material with Rolling Stone, Parker also termed the style of his new material as “epic Meat Loaf stuff.”
Time Has Been On His Mind
The passing of time has always been fascinated Parker, but recently it’s been sitting particular heavily upon his mind. In the aforementioned interview with Rolling Stone Kevin cited Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez’s novel 100 Years of Solitude as having influenced his thinking while making the new record. “It gave me this overwhelming feeling that history is doomed to repeat itself,” he said of the book, “it gives you this feeling I can’t put into words, but it inspired me on this album.”
It ‘Might Be Time’ is The First Official Single
Which brings us to ‘It Might Be Time’. Parker claims is his first drum and beat-driven track for a good while. The track has drawn mostly positive reviews but others have expressed slightly more mixed opinions. Australian publication Beat Magazine even went as far as to break the chorus of media praise and label the track close to lackluster.
The Mystery Track In the Album Teaser Is Driving People Wild
One thing that really has fans excited as an instrumental accompaniment to the teaser video which preceded The Slow Rush’s official announcement. Many believe fans this to be an unreleased track. And what’s more, they’re loving it.
Mark Ronson Has Heard It
Besides Parker, there’s only one other person who has admitted to having heard The Slow Rush. That person is Kevin’s good friend Mark Ronson. In a recent Instagram Story post, Mark claimed it, “Blew his mind.”
It Will be different.
“One of the beauties of Kev is the desire to push something different, and something new,” production mentor and friend Rob Grants told Billboard in a recent conversation. “As soon as you stay still, they can nail you to the cross. But if you keep the target moving, they fight pretty hard to nail you down.” Tame Impala refuses to be led by audience expectation. Each album is new and different. The Slow Rush will be no exception.
The Slow Rush will be arriving February 14.