What do you get if you go shopping when stoned? Apparently a new Tame Impala album! Kevin Parker the man behind the Australian electro-psych-pop phenomenon, recently stated that getting out of his comfort zone, by doing things such as the aforementioned shopping trip, was all part of the creative process for ‘The Slow Rush’. It’s been five long years since his last release ‘Currents’ with plenty of productions duties and collaborations in between for the likes of the brilliant garage rockers Pond to Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson, additionally hanging out with hip hop artist Travis Scott, also fed into the overall album vibe. It seems as if the last five years have been needed for Parker to discover how to move his Tame Impala sound to another level, to keep it unique, whilst not losing its dreamy effortless melodies.

From the start it’s clear that the new Tame Impala sound owes more to electro and pop than guitar psychedelia on opener ‘One More Year’, yet Parker manages to retain enough of an ethereal quality to it with piano breaks subtly underpinning the electro-funk beats. ‘Posthumous Forgiveness’ finds Parker reflecting on how much his life has changed, and wanting to share that with his late father.  “Wanna tell you about that time I was in Abbey Road, or about that time I had Mick Jagger on the phone” he sings adding “wanna play you all my songs, wanna hear your voice sing along” over a hypnotic bed of beats, irresistible basslines and psychedelic synths.  It’s a touching moment and one of the best tracks on the album.

‘On Track’ is an expansive sounding slow pulsating tune, with synths sweeping in and out. “I know it’s been a slow year, nothing much to show here” Parker sings as he wrestles with his own frustrations as he concludes “Trouble keep falling in my lap, strung out again but still on track”.

‘Lost In Yesterday’ is the most upbeat danceable psych you’ll hear all year, whereas ‘Is It True’ has a deep electro-funk bassline to it, like Chic meets Daft Punk whilst chilling on Parker’s front porch. Album closer ‘One More Hour’ shows Parker’s creative production and arranging skills with its expansive dynamics, Parker sounding like a lone voice in the outer limits of space one minute, then swept up in huge synth and beat thunderbolts the next.

Whereas Parker’s earlier work focused more on guitar riffs and psych rock with tunes like ‘Elephant’ and ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’, on ‘The Slow Rush’ he does exactly what it says on the tin, it has a gently paced yet mesmerising feel which ebbs and flows through its twelve tracks.

‘The Slow Rush’s appeal lies in its effortless ability to blend, hip hop and funk grooves, with expansive electro and prog sounds, into a pop infused cocktail.  Parker’s gift for morphing into this beat laden dream pop whilst maintaining the key ingredients of that Tame Impala sound has to be admired, as he has once again taken psychedelic electro music into fresh territory – a cosmic pop triumph.

Tame Impala: The Slow Rush – Out 14th February 2020 (Fiction Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.