Kevin Parker returns after five years as the psychedelic symphony wizard the world has grown to love.
Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker recorded the band’s newest album between his original studios in Western Australia and his newly-found home in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, his producing genius attracted the attention of artists like Kanye West and Lady Gaga, whom he collaborated with while separately recording his new grand project.
Parker writes, produces, mixes, and plays each instrument on Tame Impala albums, and that naturally includes their eagerly awaited fourth album The Slow Rush. It was the 2015 album Currents that launched Tame Impala into fame with songs like The Less I Know The Better.
Tracks like those took the band’s unique psych band sound and infused it with the essence of pop. Parker himself has admitted to being fascinated by pop, explaining that the genre of music has “no intellectual levels, it is just pure feelings”.
The Slow Rush is undoubtedly a Tame Impala record, and yet it sits within its own category in their wildly successful discography. There is definitely a transformation without a complete change in sound, a factor that could disappoint or please fans.
Parker sets the mood with first track One More Year, a hypnotic tune that dizzies with heavy echos. It manages to create a sense of uncontrollable reverberating expansion while keeping you grounded with a tight club-like beat.
The rest of the album takes the listener on a similar emotional cosmic ride. The sounds Parker creates feel constantly out of control, yet very precise. Like a spinning rocket ship on a perfect trajectory to its destination.
The album seems to boast thousands of synths that form a sonic kaleidoscope constantly peppered by Parker’s creativity. It could be sudden, distant pan flutes, catchy bass-lines or just masterful feats of music production that really keep the album fresh, exciting, and afloat.
All in all, the album is an exciting new addition with clever lyrics about love, life, and nostalgia that anyone can relate to. And, like every Tame Impala album, it should be listened to as a whole. Importantly, The Slow Rush feels like an army of sounds and instrumentalists but if you look for the credits, all you will find is: “All music written, performed, and mixed by Kevin Parker.”
It’s difficult not to appreciate the artist’s undeniable genius.
The Slow Rush by Tame Impala is out Friday, February 14.