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FREE ZIP !!! Tame Impala “The Slow Rush” Album Download Having done three albums that people liked, the idea of doing another one didn’t really seem like something I needed to do to make myself feel better,” he admits. “There were so many other things I wanted to do, so much that seemed more intriguing than making another Tame album. Things like DJing; I’d be at clubs watching DJs and thinking, ‘How do they do that?’. I just wanted a new skill to master, and have that be something that could take my time and effort and creativity.
It remains an unfair burden. Interviewers have recently found Parker keen to move the conversation away from the rock saviour narrative. Speaking to Billboard, he made it clear that his ambitions lay in the pop battlefield, explaining that “writing a catchy, sugary pop song” is “the yin to the yang of psychedelic rock”. Instead, he wants to “be a Max Martin”, a reference to one of the most celebrated songwriter this side of the millennium, whose credits include work with Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and The Weekend.
Since ‘Currents’, Parker has become a voguish producer adored by hip-hop titans – from Kanye West to A$AP Rocky– and pop heavyweights such as Lady Gaga (he co-wrote some of her rootsy 2016 album ‘Joanne’). His horizons have broadened beyond a home-studio in Melbourne – he’s now in the thick of LA’s music scene.
The Slow Rush is the upcoming fourth studio album by Australian musical project Tame Impala, scheduled to be released on 14 February 2020. It was announced in a video uploaded to their official website, and follows the 2015 album Currents and the 2019 singles “Patience” and “Borderline”, with the latter serving as the first single from the album.
It seems there were endless moving parts and inner-conflicts rattling Parker’s mind in the five-year gap between ‘Currents’ and Tame Impala’s fourth album, ‘The Slow Rush’. He’d hoped to have the album out to coincide with their headline appearance at Coachella last Spring. That didn’t materialise and he’s since admitted that work only really began towards the end of 2018. Well, fans’ expectations have been dizzyingly high: it’s little wonder that this album has such a large gestation period.
So: was ‘The Slow Rush’ worth the wait? The answer, for the most part, is – deep breath – a resounding ‘yes’. This is a 57-minute flex of every musical muscle in Parker’s body. Crunchy guitars are largely absent, but we’re left with something far more intriguing – a pop record bearing masterful electronic strokes. If ‘Currents’ soundtracked the glorious come-up, ‘The Slow Rush’ is the wobbly morning after, with everything and everyone under question.
This tone is established through the first few lines on moody opening track ‘One More Year’, Parker’s most intimate song to date. As a steady beat and glitchy loops establishes itself, he ponders about his connection to the places outside his studio, and outside his own head: “Do you remember we were standing here a year ago / Our minds were racing and time went slow / If there was trouble in the world we didn’t know / If we ever cared we didn’t show”. The second half of previous single ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’, a reckoning with Parker’s now-deceased father, is a cathartic rumination on their tricky relationship and his now superstardom: “Wanna tell you ’bout the time / I was in Abbey Road / Or the time that I had / Mick Jagger on the phone”.
Parker reflects on the power of nostalgia (‘Lost In Yesterday’) and the fear of losing his mojo (‘It Might Be Time’), while the spindly ‘Tomorrow’s Dust’ is a slap round the face in the favour of progress: “There’s no use tryin’ to relate to that old song”. This is not the kind of powerhouse songwriting you’d expected from Max Martin, but ‘The Slow Rush’ is actually better for it. These songs are often ethereal, dense and cosmic: you won’t find a happy-go-lucky, catch-all chorus here.
And, to return to the notion of Kevin Parker wunder-producer, this album simply sounds phenomenal. The production, sound design and creative instrumentation are genuinely outstanding throughout – nobody does it better than our Kev.
Take ‘Is It True’, which continues the kind of boogie he rolled out with Trinidadian rapper and singer Theophilus London for their 2019 cover of ‘Only You’, a serious ’80s groover originally performed by cult Nigerian hero Steve Monite. ‘Breathe Deeper’ flits between ravey pianos and ‘80s Fleetwood Mac – with a touch of Daft Punk’s ‘Da Funk’ thrown in the song’s final 90 seconds.
Sometimes, though, the songs don’t quite do the production justice. 2019 single ‘Borderline’ has been reworked and fleshed-out, a move that still can’t mask the lacklustre chorus. And where’s 2019 single ‘Patience’? It’s a genuine anthem and a much better song than ‘Borderline’. The album’s final quarter sags somewhat; from ‘It Might Be Time’ on you’d be forgiven for thinking time itself has stood still as you wait for this spectacular, exhausting album to finish.
As far as follow-ups to an earth-shattering run of albums go, though this is much more than just a solid return. It is, overall, an exhilarating listen. Tame Impala are unlikely to lose any fans by embracing Parker’s pop sensibilities – genres are history, man – but you have to admire their wilful desire to push into new directions. This band aren’t rock music’s saviours; they’re so much more than that.
If you’re looking to describe the typical characteristics of a rockstar, the word ‘introvert’ may not immediately come to mind. Musical success often goes hand in hand with its fair share of bluster, the work of amplifying a persona just big enough to disguise the fragile ego that lies beneath. We all have our vulnerabilities; some artists just conceal theirs better than others.
Kevin Parker, however, has never been too bothered about artifice. An astronomy degree dropout and self-identified loner, he wears his awkward with a touch of pride. After all, it’s hardly held him back. As the man behind Tame Impala, his name has become shorthand for musical innovation and credibility, with everyone from Rihanna to Alex Turner clamouring for time in his studio. Award nods have followed him around the globe, including a Grammy win and 20 ARIA nominations (Australia’s biggest music accolade). Secure yourself the touch of his psychedelic hand and it can be safely assumed that you’re on the road to a commercial hit that won’t compromise on cool. It hasn’t always been an easy ride; festivals are rarely headlined by artists who balk at the idea of having their photo taken. But yes, he’s changing, and is finally ready to face the idea that people might be interested in what he has to say.
This is a good thing, because interview slots with Tame Impala have grown to be increasingly prized. We meet today in a high-rise hotel suite in the middle of Piccadilly. Kevin’s donned hotel slippers and ordered room service, and as we watch the Extinction Rebels march down the street below, he ponders aloud about getting involved in similar action back home in Perth. That’s just as soon as he’s finished up promo in Berlin and Paris, possibly via a detour through Sydney. It’s a remarkable schedule for a man that two years ago thought he might not make another Tame Impala record.
“I guess I felt like I didn’t really have anything else to prove,” he continues. “The pressure of following ‘Currents’ was a lot; my inner teenage rebel kicks in when I have responsibility like that. My immediate reaction is like, ‘Get fucked, I’m not making another album. Fuck you, you can’t make me’.” He rolls his eyes. “12-year-old Kevin definitely came out…”
Packing the petulance of his younger self back into its box proved a not-inconsiderable challenge. “I was probably just feeling too good about myself, to be honest,” he suggests. “But last year it just felt right and like I wanted to again. I guess I realised that I was never going to get the kind of satisfaction out of working on other people’s music as I would with making Tame Impala, and making stuff for myself. I think I was right to wait. I honestly believe in my heart that I wouldn’t have made an album that was better than ‘Currents’ if I had dived straight back into it, or rushed it.”