by Julia Vaccarella ’20 A&E Staff
After a five-year hiatus since their last release, Australian Kevin Parker’s musical project, Tame Impala, debuted their fourth studio album, The Slow Rush, on Feb. 14. The record, coupled with the resurgence of popularity of the 2015 hit “The Less I Know the Better,” as well as previously released singles such as “Borderline,” has been met with much anticipation. The Slow Rush contains 12 songs, with several tracks running for over five minutes.
Despite the fact that The Slow Rush is their first album release since 2015, Tame Impala has still been wildly active in the music industry. Their main focus recently has been performing at music festivals. These efforts culminated with an appearance at the coveted Coachella Music Festival, where Tame Impala performed as a headlining act last April.
As for the new album, time is one of the main themes to surface. After five years without a release, there has certainly been increasing pressure for new music. This is a struggle that many artists are faced with at some point. Additionally, The Slow Rush was originally supposed to be released in late summer 2019 but its completion was delayed.
“Ruminating on memories, nostalgia, uncertainty about the future, and the nature of time itself lies at the heart of The Slow Rush. Likewise, the music itself is both a reflection on the sonic evolution of Parker’s project as it’s reached festival headliner status—from warbly psychedelia to hypnotic electronic thumps—and a forward thrust towards something new and deeply fascinating,” relays Apple Music.
The tendency of clinging onto the memories of the past is appropriately evident in tracks like “Lost in Yesterday,” which has nostalgic references throughout its entirety. The imagery of time deeply characterizes The Slow Rush, such as in “One More Hour” and “Tomorrow’s Dust.” However, Parker delves even further, touching upon the intersection between the past and the future.
Much of the credit for Tame Impala’s success has gone back to Parker himself, who not only functions as songwriter, but also oversees its production. His personal life has continually influenced the work of Tame Impala, and it is certainly applicable to The Slow Rush, given that he went through the significant life change of getting married last year.
Kitty Empire, a writer at The Guardian, states in a review of The Slow Rush that as it “builds, you have to hold on tight to the idea that, despite the musical lengths Parker used to go through to camouflage his lyrics, he is actually one of our most intriguing confessional singer-songwriters…That luminous emotional core is harder to locate on The Slow Rush. But it is there.”
Going beyond the lyricism of The Slow Rush, many of the tracks on the album are performed in the indie folk style that Tame Impala is known for. After a five-year wait, Parker has once again delivered exactly what fans of his work were hoping to hear.